James Rosenquist - Contemporary Art Part I New York Thursday, May 17, 2007 | Phillips
  • Provenance

    Leo Castelli Gallery, New York; Collection Emily Fischer Landau, New York

  • Exhibited

    Valencia, IVAM Centre Julio Gonzalez, James Rosenquist, May 17 – August 18, 1991; Tel Aviv, Givon Art Gallery, Ltd., Ten Paintings- James Rosenquist, March 3 – April 30, 2005

  • Literature

    C. Adcock and J. Rosenquist, James Rosenquist, Spain, 1991, no. 58, p. 155 (illustrated)

  • Catalogue Essay

    James Rosenquist’s visually complex narratives depict his profound respect for nature as well as his fascination with science and technology. His keen observations of modern life and its advances are expressed in his paintings by manipulating man-made imagery to convey his critical view of the world, society and environment that surround him. After his early days as a billboard painter in the Midwest and New York during the 1950s, Rosenquist rose to prominence as one of the leaders of the American Pop Art movement. His paintings of highly fragmented and dislocated images, drawn from the iconography of advertising and mass media conjure a familiar sense of modern life imbued with enigmatic painterly tokens.

    Rosenquist’s Untitled (Yellow Flowers) highlights the period in the artist’s career when he “began an ongoing series inspired by the vibrant flora around his Florida studio, painting the flowers of this tropical climate in all their bravura and delicacy. In such paintings as Nasturtium Salad (1984) and Passion Flowers (1990), lush depictions of plant life are interspersed with the faces of women. The precise markings of this human interference allude to mechanical and technological progress that, like the images, is often at odds with nature. The artist describes these lusciously painted floral and aquatic works as “ecological and political paintings” that address the fragility of life on earth,” (S. Bancroft, “James Rosenquist: A Retrospective”, Bilbao, 2004). The present lot Untitled (Yellow Flowers) exemplifies how the Florida environment served as Rosenquist’s impetus for his brightly painted fragments. The workings of his contemporary overlays are expressed in sub-tropical terms, where the light and color of the environment reanimate his concern for the process of painting. This image suggests looking at a billboard of a beautiful and mysterious woman through the spiky fronds of palmetto trees.


Untitled (Yellow Flowers)

Oil on canvas in two parts.
Overall 81 7/8 x 83 7/8 in. (208 x 213 cm).
Signed and dated "1988 James Rosenquist" on the reverse.

$400,000 - 600,000 

Sold for $656,000

Contemporary Art Part I

17 May 2007
7pm New York