in 1933 in Grand Forks, North Dakota, James Rosenquist studied art at the
Minneapolis Institute of Arts as a teenager and at the University of Minnesota
between 1952 and 1954. In 1955 he moved
to New York to study at the Art Students League on scholarship. He left the
school after one year. For the next few
years Rosenquist supported himself as a commercial artist, painting billboards
in Times Square and elsewhere in New York City. By 1960, he devoted himself solely to fine art
applying sign-painting techniques to large-scale paintings. In 1962, he had his first solo exhibition at
the Green Gallery in New York, and afterward was included in a number of
groundbreaking group exhibitions that established Pop art as a movement.
Rosenquist achieved international acclaim in 1965 with the room-scale painting F-111.
Juxtaposing disproportionate and unrelated fragments of advertising, pop
culture and politics, Rosenquist creates dazzling visual stories. Often adopting the power and scale of
billboards, Rosenquist’s collage of images seem to portray contemporary
American life as one long, disturbing dream. In contrast to their high-keyed, artificial
colors and shiny like new surfaces, Rosenquist’s work carefully dissects
American culture and is perhaps, the most radical of the 1960’s Pop Art
Political, especially anti-war, imagery became prominent in Rosenquist's
paintings after the assassination of John F. Kennedy in November 1963. And in 1972, Rosenquist was arrested as a
Vietnam War protester in Washington, D.C. He has continued to work for artists'
rights and political issues. His restlessness is expressed in his experiments
with materials and he has produced a vast array of prints, drawings, and
collages; his print Time Dust (1992)
is thought to be the largest print in the world, measuring seven by thirty-five
The Welcome to the Water World project
was produced in collaboration with Tyler Graphics Ltd. at Mount Kisco, New
York. Intended as both a celebration of the flora and resources of Earth and as
a warning of the consequences war and environmental degradation; the series
push the boundaries of printmaking with additions of collage and deep saturated
The artist has received numerous honors, public commissions, and museum
exhibitions with the most recent being: James
Rosenquist: A Retrospective (2004) organized by the Guggenheim
Museum in New York City.