James Rosenquist

“Appearance, from ‘The Glass Wishes'” (Glenn 192)
Drypoint-etching and aquatint printed in colours, 1981

Signed, titled, dated and numbered 55/59 in pencil

Published by Gemini G.E.L., Los Angeles, with their blindstamps, with full margins, 851 x 673mm (33 1/2 x 26 1/2in)(SH)



More about this work

As one of the pioneers of pop art, Rosenquist has regularly drawn on advertisements for his imagery. He has recalled painting dozens of Schenley whiskey bottles during his early career as a commercial sign painter, an experience that may have fueled his interest in the form and suggestive power of the bottle. Rosenquist has also referred to his upbringing in a family of “drinking Swedes” and recalls accompanying his uncle to Alcoholics Anonymous meetings. “I heard all of these weird stories—tales of alcoholism. So, it was the bottle intact and then the bottle broken.” This language parallels the imagery of The Glass Wishes, particularly in Appearance, in which a golden pear nestles amidst the shards of a shattered bottle. Similarly, the skull in Leaky Neck (a pun on decapitation, conflating the neck of a bottle and a body) is a traditional symbol of mortality; the print reads as a memento mori, a reminder that life is fleeting and that everyone must die.

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