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James Rosenquist Biography


Born in 1933, American James Rosenquist was one of the instigators of the Pop Art movement. The movement represents the integration of popular culture into fine art, and as such, Rosenquist’s previous occupation as a billboard painter helped influence his art in this direction. The characteristics of Pop Art – bright colours, dynamic shapes and the use of recognisable slogans and images – are clearly represented in Rosenquist’s work. His painting ‘F-111’ is made up of many images centred around a plane and is the size of a room.

James Rosenquist has often been compared to fellow pop artists Roy Lichtenstein and Andy Warhol, though the unusual techniques he used ensured that his work remained unique. Rosenquist takes recognisable images and places them on a canvas overlapping each other. This technique puts well-known images into new contexts and makes what was familiar feel unfamiliar – a theme that runs through the Pop Art movement. His work was often irreverent, and he played with scale, drawing on his past experience working with billboards. He created works using prints and collages, again making use of familiar cultural images in an unusual context. In 2001, Rosenquist was inducted into the Florida Artists Hall of Fame. He died in 2017.

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