NDSU Magazine logo -Spring 2006

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Vol. 06, No. 2


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Plains Art

"[My art is] about contemporary life. It's like sitting and unraveling your sweater; all of a sudden your sweater comes off and the whole atmosphere changes because of one loose thread." - James Rosenquist

The title of this work, East (Horse Blinders Series), is Rosenquist's reference to the science of peripheral vision, which many modern artists felt played a significant role in the viewer's perception of a work of art. This work is one of a series of four prints that emulate the "wrap-around" effect of Rosenquist's room-sized painting, Horse Blinders, created in 1968-69. The painting and prints are composed of four related parts labeled north, south, east, and west. Rosenquist suggests the content of his work is not in the images he paints, but, rather, the relationship of the images is the subject matter, and the subject matter is what blossoms into content.

1933 Born in Grand Forks, ND
       Parents Swedish and Norwegian descent
1942 Moves to Minneapolis at age 9
1952-54 Attends University of Minnesota. Paints commercial
        billboards during summer for General Outdoor Advertising
1955 Receives scholarship to Art Student League, New York
1957-59 Paints billboards in Times Square
1961 Paints Zone, the first studio painting to use commercial
        techniques and imagery
1962 First solo exhibition
1963 Shows at Museum of Modern Art, New York
1964 Joins the prestigious Leo Castelli Gallery
1965 Exhibits the now famous F-111
       (86-feet long, room-sized installation mural)
1968 First retrospective, at age 35
1986 F-111 sells for $2 million
1996 Museum of Modern Art acquires F-111
2003 The Guggenheim Museum tours major retrospective curated
        by Walter Hopps
2004 Commissioned by the Plains Art Museum for a North Dakota
        themed mural
2005 North Dakota State University bestows Honorary Doctorate

NDSU has established the James Rosenquist Artist Residency Program for Visual Arts. "This residency program allows us to honor Mr. Rosenquist, who is one of the greatest artists this state has ever produced," said Thomas Riley, dean of arts, humanities and social sciences.
The program, scheduled to begin in fall 2006, will bring a guest artist to campus for a semester, providing studio space, equipment, a stipend and accommodations. During the time in residence, the artist will develop his or her work and interact with students and the community.

Student Focused. Land Grant. Research University.