Big Deal

The Miami Art Museum is exhibiting seven large scale paintings by American master James Rosenquist, in what the curator hails as an extraordinary coup. “This marks his first U.S. museum show since his retrospective at the Guggenheim in 2003,” gushes Lori Mertes. “The exhibit is a tremendous opportunity for the public to engage with the work of one of the foremost artists of our time. Period!”

Brazil and The Xenophobic Movie Director or Our Foreign Policy, which make their first stateside appearance, are knockout examples of Rosenquist’s skull-staving style. The boxing ring-size works are stunning examples of the artist’s massive scale paintings, stemming from his early stint painting commercial billboards in Manhattan’s Times Square. “Since the late Fifties, James Rosenquist has been creating an exceptional and consistently intriguing body of work,” says Mertes, mentioning the artist rifled the seedbed of mass visual language to convey a slice of contemporary life and the political tenor of the times. Not surprisingly his command of texture, color, line, and form continues to dazzle audiences and influence young artists today.

In an age when many artists use computers and other technology to create monumental works, Rosenquist still follows the old school approach of executing his paintings by hand. “His contributions as a painter are incredible and reflect the spirit of post-World War consumerism while charting the political history of the Cold War era. The works are dynamic, mix the hyperreal with the abstract, and are quintessential Rosenquist,” Mertes adds. Spanning from 1987 to 2004, these must see paintings explore social, political, and economic issues from a global perspective while expressing Rosenquist’s interests in science and space. MAM is open from noon to 5:00 p.m. today, and admission is free on Sundays. Call 305-375-3000, or visit
Sun., March 12

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