PRINT March 2002


James Rosenquist

Alexi Worth recounts the series of visits Richard Bellamy made to James Rosenquist’s studio in the months leading up to his first one-man show, at Bellamy’s Green Gallery in February 1962.

JAMES ROSENQUIST, a headstrong twenty-two-year-old from Minneapolis, arrived in New York in 1955. After a year at the Art Students League his money ran out, so he took a job as a chauffeur for a wealthy couple who provided room and board, along with a studio where he could make his smeary impastoed abstractions. It was a comfortable situation—no expenses, plenty of time to paint—and it’s easy to imagine a young artist settling into it. But Rosenquist was restless. In Minnesota he had worked summers painting billboards; now he applied to Local 230 of the International Sign and Pictorial Painters Union and got his first assignment, painting a Hebrew National Salami ad on Flatbush Avenue.

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