PRINT September 2017


James Rosenquist

James Rosenquist, Cologne, 1972. Photo: Angelika Platen.

JAMES ROSENQUIST helped define an era—even as he undid its imagery from within. His cool handling of advertising and media made him one of the key figures of the Pop movement in the US and contributed to the distinctive look of American art in the 1960s; he depicted motifs redolent of the postwar period, from Marilyn Monroe and JFK to automobiles and processed foodstuffs. But while many are inclined to view Pop as an art that unequivocally celebrated the new, Rosenquist took a more nuanced stance by playing with time and history from the very start. In fact, his signature paintings employed images at least a decade old, many of which he found in back issues of Life magazine. He extended these preoccupations to the performative realm in the mid-’60s, when he appeared at public events in a paper suit constructed by the fashion designer Horst—a symbol of disposability and

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