THE EARLY YEARS
1933 Born November 29 in Grand Forks, North Dakota. Parents Louis and Ruth Rosenquist, of Swedish and Norwegian descent. Family settles in Minneapolis, Minnesota in 1942.
1948 Wins junior high school scholarship to study art at the Minneapolis School of Art at the Minneapolis Art Institute.
1952-54 Attends the University of Minnesota, and studies with Cameron Booth. Visits the Art Institute of Chicago to study old master and 19th-century paintings. Paints storage bins, grain elevators, gasoline tanks, and signs during the summer. Works for General Outdoor Advertising, Minneapolis, and paints commercial billboards.
1955 Receives scholarship to the Art Students League, New York, and studies with Morris Kantor, George Grosz, and Edwin Dickinson.
1957-59 Becomes a member of the Sign, Pictorial and Display Union, Local 230. Employed by A.H. Villepigue, Inc., General Outdoor Advertising, Brooklyn, New York, and Artkraft Strauss Sign Corporation. Paints billboards in the Times Square area and other locations in New York.
1960 Quits working for Artkraft Strauss Sign Corporation. Rents a loft at 3-5 Coenties Slip; neighbors include the painters Jack Youngerman, Ellsworth Kelly, Agnes Martin, Robert Indiana, Lenore Tawney, Robert Rauschenberg, Jasper Johns, Barnett Newman, and the poet Oscar Williamson.
1961 Paints Zone (1960-61), his first studio painting to employ commercial painting techniques and fragmented advertising imagery.
1962 Has first solo exhibition at the Green Gallery, New York, which he joined in 1961. Early collectors include Robert C. Scull, Count Giuseppe Panza di Biumo, Richard Brown Baker, and Burton and Emily Tremaine.
1963 Paints mural commissioned by Philip Johnson for the 1964 New York World's Fair, New York State Pavilion. Exhibits in New York in Americans 1963 at the Museum of Modern Art and in Six Painters and the Object at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum.
1964 Joins the Leo Castelli Gallery, New York. Exhibits with the Galerie Ileana Sonnabend, Paris, France, and the Galleria Gian Enzo Sperone, Turin, Italy. Begins working on lithographs at Universal Limited Art Editions, West Islip, Long Island.
1965 Exhibits F-111 (1964-65), a site-specific wrap-around painting, in his first solo show at the Leo Castelli Gallery, New York (April-May) and then at the Jewish Museum, New York (June-September). Robert C. Scull purchases F-111, and it tours eight major European museums through 1967.
1966 Begins a series of walk-through, ceiling-suspended paintings on clear polyester film (Mylar).
1967 Moves to Long Island, New York. Exhibits a room of polyester film paintings including Forest Ranger (1967) at the Palazzo Grassi, Venice, Italy. F-111 is exhibited at the 9th São Paulo Bienal, Brazil.
1968 Has first retrospective exhibition, at the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa. F-111 is exhibited at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Forest Ranger group of paintings is exhibited at the Galerie Ileana Sonnabend, Paris.
1969 Exhibits his second site-specific wrap-around painting Horse Blinders (1968-69) at the Leo Castelli Gallery, New York. F-111 is exhibited at the Hayward Gallery, London, England.
1970 Exhibits an installation of painted and reflective panels with dry ice fog, Horizon Home Sweet Home (1970), and the paintings Area Code (1970) and Flamingo Capsule (1970) at the Leo Castelli Gallery.
1971 Works on the Cold Light Suite of prints at the University of South Florida's Graphicstudio in Tampa, Florida.
1972 Has retrospective exhibitions at the Wallraf-Richartz-Museums, Cologne, Germany; the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, Illinois.
1973 Rents studio in Ybor City, Florida.
1974 Lobbies in Washington, D. C., with Marion Javits and Robert Rauschenberg for legislation protecting artists' rights.
1976 Builds a house and studio with the architect Gilbert Flores in Aripeka, Florida. Receives a commission from the State of Florida for two murals for the new state capitol building in Tallahassee.
1977 Purchases building on Chambers Street, New York. Paints a number of 15-foot works in Florida for exhibition at the Leo Castelli Gallery, 420 West Broadway, New York.
1978 Receives appointment to six-year term as member of the National Council on the Arts, Washington, D.C. F-111 is exhibited at the 38th Venice Biennale, Italy.
1980 Paints Star Thief (1980), the first of five 17' x 46' paintings.
1981 Exhibits Star Thief at the Leo Castelli Gallery, 142 Greene St., New York (January-February). Dade County Art in Public Places Committee selects Star Thief for a concourse at the Miami International Airport, Florida, but controversy with Eastern Airlines over the painting prevents its acquisition.
1982 Exhibits the painting Four New Clear Women (1982), 17' x 46', at the Leo Castelli Gallery, 142 Greene St., New York. Receives commission to paint a 7' x 24' mural, Flowers, Fish and Females for the Four Seasons (1984), for the Four Seasons Restaurant, New York.
1983 Completes a new studio in Aripeka, Florida. Exhibits Star Thief at the Center for the Fine Arts, Miami, Florida.
1985 Retrospective exhibition, organized by and originating at the Denver Art Museum, Colorado, travels until 1987 to the Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston, Texas; Des Moines Art Center, Iowa; The Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; National Museum of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. Exhibits the 17' x 46' painting The Persistence of Electrical Nymphs in Space (1985) at the Leo Castelli Gallery, 142 Greene St., New York.
1986 F-111, the largest artwork auctioned to date, is sold at Sotheby's from the estate of Robert C. Scull for $2.09 million.
1987 Is nominated and inducted into the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, New York.
1988 Receives the Golden Plate Award from the American Academy of Achievement, Nashville, Tennessee. Exhibits the painting Through the Eye of the Needle to the Anvil (1988), 17' x 46', at the Leo Castelli Gallery, 142 Greene St., New York.
1991 Has retrospective exhibitions at the Central Hall of Artists, Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow, U.S.S.R. and at the IVAM Centre Julio Gonzalez, Valencia, Spain.
1992 Exhibits a selection of paintings executed in the early 1960s in The Early Pictures 1961-1964 at the Gagosian Gallery, New York. Has solo exhibitions at the Galeria Weber, Alexander y Cobo, Madrid, Spain and the Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, Paris, France.
1993 A retrospective of graphics, Time Dust, Complete Graphics: 1962-1992, travels to twelve venues in the United States. Has exhibitions of recent paintings at the Leo Castelli Gallery, New York, and the Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, Salzburg, Austria. Exhibits a selection of the Gift Wrapped Doll series of paintings at Feigen Incorporated, Chicago, Illinois.
1994 An exhibition commemorating his 30-year association with the art dealer Leo Castelli is held at the Leo Castelli Gallery, New York, accompanied by the publication of the book The Big Paintings, Thirty Years. Has a solo exhibition at Wetterling Teo Gallery, Singapore.
1995 Has solo exhibitions at the PYO Gallery, Seoul, South Korea and the Civico Museo Revoltella, Trieste, Italy. Star Thief is acquired by the Museum Ludwig, Cologne, Germany. Flowers, Fish and Females for the Four Seasons is acquired by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Begins a series of hand-colored paper constructions.
1996 Exhibits new gun paintings in solo exhibitions at the Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, Paris, and Salzburg, Austria, and at Feigen Incorporated, Chicago. New Paper Constructions is shown at Gemini G.E.L., Los Angeles, California. F-111 is acquired by the Museum of Modern Art, New York.
1997 Singapore series of three large paintings is shown at the Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, Paris, and new works are exhibited at the Wetterling Teo Gallery, Singapore.
1998 The Swimmer in the Econo-mist paintings are exhibited at the Deutsche Guggenheim Berlin, Germany. After Berlin: New Paintings exhibition is held at Feigen Contemporary, New York. Begins the Speed of Light series of paintings.
1999 Has solo exhibition entitled Meteors: New Paintings at the Baldwin Gallery, Aspen, Colorado. The Swimmer in the Econo-mist is shown at the June inaugural exhibition of the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, North Adams, Massachusetts.
2000 Has an exhibition at the Salvador Dalí Museum, St. Petersburg, Florida, entitled James Rosenquist: Paintings/James Rosenquist: Selects Dalí.
2001 Has solo exhibition including the 17' x 46' painting The Stowaway Peers Out at the Speed of Light (2000) and other Speed of Light paintings at the Gagosian Gallery, New York. Included in Les Années Pop: 1956-1968 at the Musée National d’Art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris.
2002 Designs and donates a large, wall-mounted sculpture to All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg, Florida. Receives an award from the Fundaćion Cristóbal Gabarrón in Valladolid, Spain in recognition of his contributions to universal culture.
2003 Exhibits James Rosenquist: Recent Paintings at McClain Gallery, Houston, James Rosenquist: Selected Work on Paper at Leo Castelli, New York, James Rosenquist: Collages at Jacobson Howard Gallery, New York, James Rosenquist Prints: A Mini-Retrospective at Jim Kempner Fine Art, New York, and Rosenquist in Florida: Major Prints at Barbara Gillman Gallery, Miami. The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum organizes a major respective of paintings, drawings, graphics, and collages, that travels to The Menil Collection and Museum of Fine Arts, Houston and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York.
2004 James Rosenquist: A Retrospective travels to the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, Spain. Exhibits James Rosenquist: Prints from the ‘80s and ‘90s at Godt-Cleary Projects, Las Vegas, and James Rosenquist: Welcome to the Water Planet at Galerie ArtPoint der Ferratec AG, Rudolfstetten, Switzerland.
2005 Has a lone exhibition at Acquavella Galleries surveying his monochrome and grisaille work throughout his career. Exhibits James Rosenquist: Ten Paintings, 1965-2004; Collage, 1987 at Givon Art Gallery, Tel Aviv. James Rosenquist: A Retrospective travels to the Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg in Wolfsburg, Germany.
2006 Exhibits Celebrating the Fiftieth Anniversary of the Signing of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by Eleanor Roosevelt at Art Unlimited/Art Basel in Basel Switzerland. Also exhibits at the Miami Art Museum, Miami.
2006-7 Has a major survey exhibition, James Rosenquist at the Haunch of Venison gallery in London.
2007 Exhibits James Rosenquist: The Speed of Light and Beyond at the Silvermine Guild Arts Center in New Canaan, Connecticut. Has a show of new work at Acquavella Galleries in the fall.
2007 Exhibits new work at Acquavella Galleries, James Rosenquist: Time Blades. Also shows James Rosenquist: The Speed of Light and Beyond at the Silvermine Guild Arts Center in New Canaan, Connecticut. Joins the board of The American Friends of the Tel Aviv Museum of Art.