James Rosenquist: A Retrospective
May 18–October 17, 2004
During its nearly four-month run at the Guggenheim in New York, James Rosenquist: A Retrospective drew large crowds eager to see Rosenquist's very extraordinary paintings of mostly ordinary things: automobiles and airplanes, spaghetti and layer cakes, lipsticks and flowers, housewives and Breck Girls. His boldly colored, larger-than-life works also impressed the critics (back in the 1960s, many decried Rosenquist as a "New Vulgarian"). Last fall in the New York Times, Michael Kimmelman praised Rosenquist thus: "A sly storyteller, a charmer and old style rabble-rouser, he still has a restless imagination, huge energy, and an uncanny knack for spotting how two unlikely things go together."
Now museumgoers in Bilbao will get a chance to see about 150 works spanning 40 years, including Rosenquist's earliest pictures, his billboard-scale Pop art masterpieces such as President Elect (1960–61/1964), and more recent abstract canvases as well as decades' worth of revealing source collages.
James Rosenquist, Welcome to the Water Planet, 1987. Oil on canvas, 13 x 10 feet. Private collection, on display at the Lennox Building, Atlanta