House of Fire

James Rosenquist American

Not on view

Trained as a billboard painter, Rosenquist began creating large-scale, lavishly composed works as a Pop artist in the 1960s. House of Fire exudes the dynamism and sensuous polish that have characterized his work since that period. In this allegorical triptych, prosaic objects become strangely treacherous: a grocery bag is mysteriously suspended in air, a supernaturally radiant bucket of molten steel descends through a window, and fiery lipsticks align like a battery of guns. The allusions to violence, sex, and consumerism recall earlier works such as the artist's monumental F-111 of 1965, which mixes imagery of a U.S. Air Force fighter-bomber with that of a child and a mass of spaghetti, producing a heightened sense of seduction and danger.

House of Fire, James Rosenquist (American, Grand Forks, North Dakota 1933–2017 New York), Oil on canvas

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