James Rosenquist, a pioneer during the 1960s’ Pop art movement, passed away on March 31, 2017. He was 83.


Rosenquist passed away in his home in New York City “after a long illness,” reports The New York Times. He’s survived by his wife, Mimi Thompson, and his son, daughter, grandson and an enduring legacy.

Rosenquist’s work was characterized by the bold colors and imagery of his movement. Pop artists integrated popular iconography from everyday life into their work, such as Andy Warhol’s famous depictions of Campbell’s soup cans and the late actress Marilyn Monroe.

However, Pop artists often utilized techniques that were up until that point detached from fine art. Rosenquist’s specialty was painting on billboards, which would prepare him for the large-scale pieces he would tackle.

Additionally, while he seldom did so, Rosenquist wasn’t afraid to convey political themes in his art, as two of his signature works show. President Elect, dated 1960 to 1961, depicted John F. Kennedy along with a piece of cake and a yellow Chevrolet.

The massive F-111, which he created in 1964 and 1965, splices several seemingly inharmonious images together. As the Vietnam War was ongoing at the time, Rosenquist emphasized the F-111 military plane.

Rosenquist remained active in the art scene. In 2009, he had penned an autobiography, Painting Below Zero: Notes on a Life in Art, along with writer David Dalton. The book discussed Rosenquist’s emergence in the Pop art movement. Also in 2009, a fire savaged his office in Aripeka, Florida, which sadly destroyed many of his projects, including a mural the French government commissioned him for.

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