Early in the Morning (Primary Title)
James Rosenquist, American, 1933-2017 (Artist)
“I don’t think of my work ever as a complete thing. I think of it as a tool to get someone off into their own vision.” —James Rosenquist
Rosenquist’s early experience as a billboard painter in Times Square shaped his approach to art. In his paintings, Rosenquist adopts ready-made images from magazines, packaging, ads, movies, and television. He fragments, enlarges, and rearranges them in unexpected, and unexpectedly thought-provoking, combinations. Each element of this composition—cloudy sky, sliced orange, pocket comb, and striding legs—evokes innumerable associations, yet the painting’s meaning remains elusive. Like a dream or a memory, Rosenquist’s work challenged us to leave logic behind and enter into an odd and hallucinatory world.
James Rosenquist: Gëmalde, Räume, Graphik, Wallraf-Richartz-Museums, Cologne, Germany, January 29 – March 12, 1972; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam
Painting and Sculpture: 1940-1970, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY, 1969
James Rosenquist, National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, January - March 1968
Pittsburgh International Exhibition of Contemporary Painting and Sculpture, Carnegie Institute, Pittsburgh, PA, October 1964 – January 1965
James Rosenquist Exhibition, Green Gallery, New York, NY, 1964
 Lot #34, sale #3558, October 18, 1973. See auction catalogue, A Selection of Fifty Works from the Collection of Robert C. Scull (New York: Sotheby Parke Bernet, 1973).
Some object records are not complete and do not reflect VMFA's full and current knowledge. VMFA makes routine updates as records are reviewed and enhanced.