Unfortunately, this is not an April fool’s gag.
James Rosenquist, the legendary Pop Artist has died. Early on, he earned his living as a billboard painter and it was the perfect training for a pop artist, one of the first on the scene.
Like other pop artists, Andy Warhol & Roy Lichtenstein, Rosenquist adapted the visual language of advertising and pop culture into the context of fine art with a capital A.
Rosenquist said about Pop Art,
“They [art critics] called me a Pop artist because I used recognizable imagery. The critics like to group people together. I didn’t meet Andy Warhol until 1964. I did not really know Andy or Roy Lichtenstein that well. We all emerged separately.“
Rosenquist achieved pop star status in 1965 with his room-sized painting F-111. New York magazine art critic, Jerry Saltz remembered him and F111 today.
“…his 60-panel multi-colored walk-in wrap-around 1964-65 masterpiece, F-111. An irregularly shaped 10-foot tall, 86-foot-long rectangle of oil on canvas and aluminum shiny gaudy thing — we go from the tail of the supersonic fighter and a proto-Christopher Wool silk-screen pattern of flowery wallpaper serving as the jet exhaust, to a giant tractor tire tread, pound-cake, geometric abstract painting here and there, maybe an overhead shot of a cockpit or runway, a woman under a space-helmet-like hair-dryer, the initials USA, a beach umbrella, mushroom cloud, splatters of spaghetti as allusion to Abstract Expressionism and pizza pie, some sea-creature or blue cauliflower, weird wallpaper pattern to the aluminum surface and nosecone of the war-plane. This is a perfect picture of what America looked, felt, and sounded like in 1965…“
A pioneer and a giant. James Rosenquist was 83.
(via New York magazine)