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Six-color lithograph with embossing and debossing on Hodgkinson handmade paper
Paper 40.5 x 31 in. / 102.9 x 78.7 cm
Image 30.8 x 20.25 in. / 78.4 x 51.4 cm
Edition 70 with 20 AP. Signed by the artist and dated 1972 lower right; numbered 5/11 HC lower left.
1-2-3 Outside reproduces James Rosenquist’s 1963 oil painting of the same name, collected in the Spencer Museum of Art, The University of Kansas, Lawrence. Rosenquist sourced the imagery from magazine cutouts. Arranging the composition into thirds, the artist juxtaposes a partial view of a car’s shiny hood with folds of fabric and a plain white upper third flanked with textured vertical grey rectangles. As in many of Rosenquist’s images, there is pure visual pleasure in the car’s chrome shine and carefully arranged folds of satin. In the original painting, the upper third of the composition features two wooden lengths on either side with a length of wire stretched between them — an elegant reproduction of the barbed wire barriers used in wartime. At the time of publication, the United States was still three years away from the end of the Vietnam War. Here, the red and blue of the fabric and the car with the eerie white suggest that consumer goods such as cars and dresses constitute an essential part of American-ness: rivaled only in their importance by the wars waged by the United States.
Rosenquist was a key figure of the Pop Art movement, with other progenitors including Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein. A billboard painter turned fine artist, Rosenquist is known for his smooth, graphic painting style, and his use of compositions pulled from collages of magazine cutouts, advertisements, and photographs.