James Rosenquist (November 29, 1933 – March 31, 2017) became well known in the 1960s as a leading American Pop artist alongside contemporaries Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Claes Oldenburg, and other figurative artists. As with his contemporaries, Rosenquist’s background in commercial art deeply influenced his nascent fine-art career and radically changed the face of the art world and the annals of art history. While each Pop artist developed a distinct style, there were commonalities in their approaches to image-making that helped define the Pop art movement in the early 1960s: the use of commercial art techniques, and the depiction of popular imagery and everyday objects.
Drawing on his early experience as a billboard painter, Rosenquist culled imagery from print advertisements, photographs, and popular periodicals and recombined these to create mysterious and bold compositions. Utilizing the visual language of advertising, described by the late American curator Walter Hopps as "visual poetry," his work has plumbed questions ranging from the economic, romantic, and ecological to the scientific, cosmic and existential. Creating seminal new work over more than five decades, Rosenquist consistently expressed facile talent in painting, collage, drawing, and printmaking. His work is included in major public and private institutions, and has been featured in solo exhibitions at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Museum of Modern Art, Walker Art Center, Whitney Museum of American Art, Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, The Menil Collection, The Museum of Fine Arts Houston, Denver Art Museum, Tretyakov Gallery, Museum Ludwig, Wallraf-Richartz Museum, and other national and international institutions.