Marcia Tucker

I had first seen Rosenquist’s work at Leo Castelli’s gallery in 1966 and thought that his huge works like F-111, with their unlikely juxtapositions of images, took a very different approach to painting. Then I started as associate curator at the Whitney sometime during the last months of 1968 and I was going to as many artists’ studios as possible. I could tell that something unusual was in the air, an eccentric view of what art might be. It’s important to remember that there was a huge amount of interest in phenomenology in the art world at that time. Everyone was reading Merleau-Ponty’s Signs (1964), and people were very excited by the idea that art didn’t have to be about what you perceived but about the very act of perception. This interest largely manifested itself in sculpture, like Bruce Nauman’s early work, for example—thinking about art not in terms of objects but as a catalyst

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