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Rosenquist, James

James Rosenquist, 1933–, American painter, b. Grand Forks, N.Dak. He moved to New York City in 1955. Identified with the pop art movement, Rosenquist incorporates disparate and fragmented images of everyday American life into his huge canvases. Although they are realistically painted, they can appear abstract because of their vast scale and color. Rosenquist borrowed from his earlier experience as a billboard painter for the style, technique, imagery, and aesthetic of these works. His best-known painting, the epic F-111 (1965), is a 51-panel work occupying the walls of an entire room; it enigmatically juxtaposes such images as a fighter bomber, a child under a hair dryer, a cake, a mushroom cloud and beach umbrella, light bulbs, a tire, and a mass of spaghetti, suggesting a connection between consumerist affluence and war. Rosenquist, who has sometimes worked in sculpture, mixed media, and collage, is also a prolific printmaker.

See his autobiography, Painting below Zero (2009, with D. Dalton); J. Goldman, James Rosenquist (1985); C. W. Glenn, Time Dust: James Rosenquist Complete Graphics 1962–1992 (1993); J. Hopps et al., James Rosenquist: A Retrospective (2003).

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