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Feb. 5 Art Minute: James Rosenquist, Secret Incarnation

Art Minute, Art of the Week, toledo museum of art
James Rosenquist (American, 1933-2017)Secret Incarnation. Oil on canvas, 1984. Purchased with funds from the Libbey Endowment, Gift of Edward Drummond Libbey, 1985.33. Wolfe Gallery

With alternating, fragmented glimpses of flowers and faces, Rosenquist has created a sense of movement and mystery in in this enigmatic composition. Drawing upon his early experience as a billboard painter, he uses monumental images with dramatic results. Here it seems almost as if a billboard has begun to peel away, revealing the old advertisements beneath it. 

In 1962 Rosenquist's art, along with that of Warhol and others, attained prominence as part of the Pop Art movement. Combining fragmentary commercial images in unexpected ways, he creates visual metaphors for the complexity of American life. 

This work is currently on view at the Toledo Museum of Art in the Wolfe Gallery.