Painting for the American Negro, 1962-1963
oil on canvas
203 x 533.4 cm overall; panels: 203 x 177.8 cm each
National Gallery of Canada (no. 15292.1-3)
James Rosenquist, Painting for the American Negro, 1962 © VAGA (New York) / SODART (Montréal) 2003
Rosenquist is known for his large-scale paintings which combine fragmented advertising images enlarged to the dimensions of a movie screen or highway billboard. In the late 1950s, Rosenquist began to use painting techniques derived from his experience as a billboard painter in New York City. Produced during the height of the Black civil rights movement in the U.S.A, the painting's seemingly unrelated images of modern American life reveals the era's sense of discord and tension.