New York

James Rosenquist

Castelli Gallery

Mixed feelings were evoked by the colored panels and mylar passages of the recent James Rosenquist environment, Horizon: Home Sweet Home. All that I feel need be noted at present is Rosenquist’s serious involvement in the coloristic and environmental concerns enforced by the ascendancy of Keith Sonnier’s work, although Rosenquist was by far the earlier executant of this impulsion toward luminous and technical polymorphs. In the present instance Rosenquist has turned to a fog machine which bathes the bases of his panel, in gentle atmospheres.

The exhibition went largely unattended since the fog machine played unattended at only the most inaccessible hours. It is noteworthy that the apparently imitative aspects of Rosenquist’s recent work have a dotted history in his own art stemming from his neon and barbed wire sculpture of the early 1960s and the fully environmental paintings, such as the notorious F-111 of the later ’60s. It is rather this exposed nerve in Rosenquist’s otherwise easily apprehended art (Pop publicity plus Cubist collage, for example) which compels attention and which in the long haul may serve to immunize him from the sclerosis which has overwhelmed the arts of patent Pop sensibility, then and now.

Robert Pincus-Witten