TABLE OF CONTENTS

PRINT March 2002

FIRST BREAK

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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