Shortly after moving to New York City in the 1950's (to study fine art) Rosenquist became a commercial painter working on advertising billboards.
For nearly three years he worked non-stop as a commercial painter - which would be both the technical training and inspiration for his aesthetic as an artist.
In the early 1960's he began exhibiting paintings that resembled collages, although all painted by hand, of random elements from American advertising of the era.
In "Flower Garden" Rosenquist effectively uses figuration to create an overall composition that suggest something completely different that what the individual elements were created for. Rosenquist cleverly uses hands to mimic flowers.
This work is a paradigm of Rosenquist's aesthetic and technique, yet is understated and realized in a black and white palette with phantom traces of kelly green and rose throughout
Additional images available on request.
Signed, dated 1972, titled and numbered 32/75 by the artist
Lithograph on Hodgkinson Handmade Oatmeal paper
Published by Petersburg Press, London (UK)
30.5"H 36"W (work)
Very good condition
About James Rosenquist (Artist)
Although he insisted that he and his fellow Pop artists developed their art-making styles independently, American painter James Rosenquist belonged at the table with Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein. Known for his distinctive use of visual montage, Rosenquist produced large, vibrantly colored tableaux marked by fragmentation and overlap. He often employed familiar motifs and objects drawn from popular contemporary culture — hot dogs, lipstick tubes, American flags — which he manipulated to form disorienting compositions whose constituent elements are nearly unrecognizable.
Born in North Dakota to Swedish parents, Rosenquist was encouraged to pursue painting by his mother, who was also an artist. He studied painting for two years at the University of Minnesota, but dropped out at the age of 21 to attend the Art Students League in New York on a scholarship. A job as a billboard painter in the late 1950s set him up to pursue his signature style, which borrowed its bold graphics and remixed kitschy aesthetic from the visual vocabulary of advertising. Works like Flamingo Capsule (1983) embody his trademark visual dissonance, drawing cigarette-ad motifs into conversation with stripes from the American flag and aluminum foil wrappers.
In addition to enormous paintings, Rosenquist created drawings, prints and collages. The 2011 lithograph The Memory Continues but the Clock Disappears is a montage of melting clocks and confetti, all submerged in a pool of water. While wryly hinting at the inevitability of decay and deterioration — suggesting that life is a ticking clock — the composition also alludes to Salvador Dalí's signature motif, the defining symbol of Surrealism. Such compositions demonstrate how Rosenquist masterfully combined seemingly incongruous elements into a harmonious and poetic whole.