Blood in Warm Water, etching and aquatint. 1981

James Rosenquist (1933 – 2017) was an American painter, printmaker and graphic artist who was one of the proponents of the pop art movement. James Rosenquist started his career in art at 18 years old, working as a sign painter in Times Square, New York. After the death of friend in a work related accident, Rosenquist quit commercial sign painting and instead began to focus more on personal projects in his studio. During this time he developed his own unique style of painting, retaining the bold colours, scale and vivid imagery he used in his billboard painting. Rosenquist developed his style into his own brand of ‘new realism’, which would come to be known as Pop Art. Rosenquist was also a prolific printmaker who produced prints throughout his career primarily producing lithographs.

President Elect, 1960-61/1964. oil on masonite

One of Rosenquist’s most well known pieces, ‘President Elect’ translates a campaign poster of John F. Kennedy onto a towering display, exploring the relationship between advertising and the consumer. As well as this, images of cake and a Chevrolet explore the role of American consumerism and its impact on society as a whole.

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