It was while working in New York as a sign painter by day and an abstract painter by night that he had the idea to import the giant-scale, broadly painted representational pictures from outdoor advertising into the realm of fine art.
“Was importing the method into art a bit of a cheap trick?” the critic Peter Schjeldahl wrote in The New Yorker in 2003 on the occasion of a ballyhooed retrospective of Mr. Rosenquist’s work at the Guggenheim Museum in New York. “So were Warhol’s photo silk-screening and Lichtenstein’s limning of panels from comic strips.
“The goal in all cases,” Mr. Schjeldahl added, “was to fuse painting aesthetics with the semiotics of media-drenched contemporary reality. The naked efficiency of anti-personal artmaking defines classic Pop. It’s as if someone were inviting you to inspect the fist with which he simultaneously punches you.”
April 1, 2017
"Pop Art. I’ve never cared for the term, but after half a century of being described as a Pop artist I’m resigned to it. Still, I don’t know what Pop Art means, to tell you the truth."
Said James Rosenquist, quoted in his NYT obituary. He was 83.