James Rosenquist: His American Life

25 Oct-07 Dec 2018

Acquavella Galleries, New York

I’m interested in contemporary vision… the flicker of chrome, reflections, rapid associations, quick flashes of light. Bing-bang! I don’t do anecdotes. I accumulate experiences. – James Rosenquist

Acquavella Galleries presents James Rosenquist: His American Life, a major loan exhibition focusing on James Rosenquist’s compelling and poetic vision of postwar America. The exhibition presents Rosenquist as a lyrical artist who painted what he saw and felt about the world around him, creating images that reflected his experience of American life and its political landscape. Curated by Judith Goldman, the exhibition features seventeen paintings from the early 1960s through the early 1980s, focusing on the themes that would preoccupy him throughout his career.

“Rosenquist is celebrated as the painter of F-111, and early on he took his place in the pantheon of Pop. But his range was far greater. He was rigorous picture maker and an enigmatic storyteller. The focus of this exhibition is on the breadth and sheer poetry of Rosenquist’s vision of the world around him.”

Born in 1933, at the height of the Great Depression, Rosenquist was raised in the Midwest during an era of war and patriotism. He came of age in a time of prosperity, when the pursuit of the American Dream was paramount. Beginning in the early 1960s, Rosenquist channeled his experience working as a billboard painter with his experience of America to create enigmatic but suggestive narratives. Out of popular images and commonplace objects, Rosenquist crafted a poetic visual language with jarring, unexpected couplings and haunting metaphors.

The show includes important loans from museums such as the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Whitney Museum of American Art; the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden; and the Spencer Museum of Art at the University of Kansas; in addition to loans from private collections.

Pictured are:

  • James Rosenquist, Brighter Than the Sun, 1961, Oil on canvas, 57 x 90 inches (144.8 x 228.6 cm), Private Collection © Estate of James Rosenquist / Licensed by VAGA at ARS, New York.
  • James Rosenquist, Win a New House This Christmas (Contest), 1964, Oil on canvas, 58 x 58 inches (147.3 x 147.3 cm), Private Collection, New York © Estate of James Rosenquist / Licensed by VAGA at ARS, New York.

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