Kasmin is delighted to announce U.S. representation of the Estate of James Rosenquist.
One of the most important painters of post-war American art, Rosenquist (1933–2017) established a reputation as a founding member of the Pop art generation, radically altering the face of graphic culture and the art world. Having sharpened his expert visual communication skills through early commercial and billboard work, Rosenquist came to prominence creating high-impact paintings charged with cultural commentary, examining themes from the social, scientific and political, to the romantic, cosmic and existential. His work was described by the late American curator Walter Hopps as “visual poetry.” In 2022, Kasmin will mount a major solo exhibition of work by the artist in New York.
Realized over the course of six decades, the work of James Rosenquist spans painting, sculpture, drawing, collage, and printmaking, and remains searingly immediate and relevant today. Pulsing with the political tenor of the 1960s, Rosenquist’s work began to critique a growing sense of mass consciousness pitched against the calamitous backdrop of the Vietnam War. Portraits of politicians collide with images of middle-class wealth and consumerism, asking us to question the impact of the dominant narratives encouraging dogmatic conformity in the U.S.
Born in Grand Forks, North Dakota, Rosenquist studied painting at the University of Minnesota with Cameron Booth. In 1955, he moved to New York having won a scholarship to the Art Students League, where he studied with Will Barnet, Edwin Dickinson and Robert Beverly Hale, among others. In 1957, he took a job painting billboards, working on scaffolds in Brooklyn and, a year later, high above Times Square. By 1960, Rosenquist had stopped painting commercial advertisements and rented a small studio space in Lower Manhattan where his neighbors included artists Robert Indiana, Ellsworth Kelly, and Jack Youngerman. During this period, Rosenquist, working against the prevailing tide of Abstract Expressionism, developed his own brand of New Realism—a style soon to be called Pop art. Rosenquist’s first solo exhibition at the Green Gallery in 1962 sold out and, in 1965, after working a year on the painting, Rosenquist exhibited his iconic fifty-nine panel F-111 at Leo Castelli Gallery. The 86ft-long work, one of Rosenquist’s most explicitly political, is now in the collection of The Museum of Modern Art, New York.