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JAMES ROSENQUIST (1933-2017)

 
JAMES ROSENQUIST - Samba School - oil on canvas over panel - 78 x 132 in. JAMES ROSENQUIST - Samba School - oil on canvas over panel - 78 x 132 in. JAMES ROSENQUIST - Samba School - oil on canvas over panel - 78 x 132 in. JAMES ROSENQUIST - Samba School - oil on canvas over panel - 78 x 132 in. JAMES ROSENQUIST - Samba School - oil on canvas over panel - 78 x 132 in. JAMES ROSENQUIST - Samba School - oil on canvas over panel - 78 x 132 in. JAMES ROSENQUIST - Samba School - oil on canvas over panel - 78 x 132 in. JAMES ROSENQUIST - Samba School - oil on canvas over panel - 78 x 132 in. JAMES ROSENQUIST - Samba School - oil on canvas over panel - 78 x 132 in. JAMES ROSENQUIST - Samba School - oil on canvas over panel - 78 x 132 in.
Samba School198678 x 132 in. oil on canvas over panel
Provenance
Richard L. Feigen & Co., New York
The Peter B. Lewis Collection
Sotheby's, Contemporary Art Day Auction, November 2014, lot 232
Private Collection, New York
Private Collection, Florida
Exhibition
New York, The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum; Houston, The Menil Collection; Houston, The Museum of Fine Arts; Bilbao, Guggenheim Museum, James Rosenquist: A Retrospective, October 2003 - October 2004, cat. no. 108, p. 213, illustrated in color
Literature
Oliver Stone, Director, Wall Street, USA, 1987, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation
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“I’m the one who gave steroids to Pop Art.” – James Rosenquist

History

James Rosenquist is one of the most prominent Pop artists. His large-scale canvases feature collaged images culled from advertising and commercial culture. Trained as a billboard painter, Rosenquist used this experience to create massive canvases that themselves look like the advertisements we encounter in everyday life. The canvases gleam in their glossiness and fast-paced nature, the juxtaposition of disparate images hinting at larger socio-political observations.

Despite Pop art emerging from midcentury America, the movement reached a new level of fame during the 1980s when this painting, Samba School, was created. An emboldened American society looked to flex new priorities of consumerism and corporate interest with bravado. This was a perfect intersection for Pop artists to examine the complexities involved.

It is not unusual then that this painting featured in a defining movie of the period – “Wall Street”. As the movie points out of American culture of the era, “… greed, for lack of a better word, is good.” This material exuberance is not unconnected with a re-energized Pop art and other movements of the decade.

More
  • Rosenquist38004_history1
    Still from “Wall Street”, the 1987 film directed by Oliver Stone in which Rosenquist’s “Samba School” appeared.
  • Rosenquist38004_history2
    James Rosenquist in Times Square, 1958.
  • Rosenquist38004_history3
    James Rosenquist in studio, 1964.
  • Rosenquist38004_history4
    James Rosenquist with his painting “Brazil”, 2005.
“Popular culture isn’t a freeze-frame; it is images zapping by in rapid-fire succession… the blur between images creates a kind of motion in the mind.” – James Rosenquist

Top Results at Auction

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Paintings in Museum Collections

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“Paper Clip” (1973), oil and acrylic on canvas, 102 ¼ x 224, inches Dallas Museum of Art
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“Industrial Cottage” (1977), oil on canvas, 80 x 182 inches, Smithsonian American Art Museum
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