Los Angeles

James Rosenquist

Dwan Gallery

As slippery, agreeable and conventional as an ad man at a client’s party, Rosenquist nevertheless makes us aware of his attitudes in his big chopped-up ads and billboard sections. He persistently presents a picture of harebrained noninvolvement, sneaking in his comment so quietly that we are never certain we have not made it up for ourselves. His is a world of inescapable superficiality.

He necessarily comments upon a dead idea . . . Shaw said that was the fate of those who comment. He talks of a world created by vulgar advertising. But after all there is another world of advertising that is tenaciously tasteful and art-oriented. Rosenquist is not interested because he pretends not to be interested in art. His comments become current by association. Two large panels that derive from old “T-zone” ads become current by their association with the lung cancer fuss. They are about a big pretty

to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for artforum.com? Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW for only $50 a year—65% off the newsstand price—and get the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.