* 1933 Grand Forks/North Dakota
James Rosenquist was born in Grand Forks on November 29, 1933. As of 1948 he studies at the arts school of the Minneapolis Art Institute. In 1952 he changes to the University of Minneapolis. He is given a scholarship for the Art Students League in New York in 1955, where George Grosz is among his teachers. James Rosenquist earns a living as a poster painter in New York, which earns him the nickname "Billboard Michelangelo".
In 1960 he moves into a studio in the South of Manhattan, near the studios of artists such as Ellsworth Kelly, Robert Indiana, Robert Rauschenberg, Jasper Johns, Barnett Newman and others. He soon causes a sensation with his unusually large pictures with exact depictions of enlarged details.
His first one-man show takes place in Richard Bellamy's Green Gallery in New York in 1962, which is sold out in a short time. The influential gallery owner Leo Castelli contracts him in 1964. As Pop-Art booms in the 1960s, James Rosenquist, Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein and Tom Wesselmann are the main protagonists. Just as other pop artists, James Rosenquist does not depict an ideal world in his pictures, but makes critical statements on current events. The work that makes him popular in an instant was made for an exhibition with Leo Castelli; "F 111", measuring 3 x 26 meters, stretches all over the gallery's walls.
Besides paintings, the artist also creates an extensive graphic oeuvre as of 1965. Jeames Rosenquist mainly works with lithographs at first, and later also with silkscreens and etchings. As of 1967 he experiments with transparent plastic foil as the image carrier. In 1969 he also works on films.
The first retrospective takes place in the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa as early as in 1968, four years later in the Wallraf-Richartz-Museum in Cologne , in the Whitney Museum, New York and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago.
The painting "F 111" is shown at the 1978 Biennale in Venice. In 1986 it is auctioned off for $ 2.09 million as the largest work ever in an auction at Sotheby's (today it is in possession of the Museum of Modern Art, New York).
In 1993 a retrospective exhibition of his graphic works ("Time Dust, Complete Graphics 1962-1992") is shown in 12 cities in the USA.
James Rosenquist lives and works in New York.