James Rosenquist



James Rosenquist (1933-2017) was one of the most important contributors to American Pop Art. He is best known for his monumental collage-style paintings that feature a melange of appropriated cultural imagery often "borrowed" from advertising. 

Shortly after moving to New York City in the 1950s to study fine art, Rosenquist became a commercial painter working on advertising billboards. For nearly three years he worked non-stop as a commercial painter, which would be both the technical training and inspiration for his aesthetic and ethos as an artist.

Fascinated by the omnipresence of advertising, Rosenquist's work investigates its subliminal influence by subverting everyday iconography to challenge its socio-political significance. His work overwhelms gallery walls, swallowing the viewer with its authoritative nature.

Here we have a much more pared-down example of the artist's work from the last chapter of his career. The work features five pairs of eyeglasses scattered about, each varying in style. Curiously, the left lens on three of the pairs are filled with frenetic dashes of tangerine, cherry red, and periwinkle, perhaps mimicking 3D glasses.

Like the best of his work, we can turn to the title "My Mind is an Empty Glass" for additional inquiry.

In 2003, Rosenquist was the subject of a full-career, international retrospective organized by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. Today, his work is included in significant permanent collections across the globe including the Art Gallery of Ontario, the MoMA (New York), and the Guggenheim Bilbao, to name a few.

Questions about this piece? Contact us or call +1.416.704.1720

“My Mind is an Empty Glass”

USA, 1994

Lithograph on handmade Japanese paper

Signed, numbered, and dated by the artist

From an edition of 42

34"H 34"W (work)

39"H 39.5"W (framed)

Very good condition  

Published by The Friends of the Philadelphia Museum of Art

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