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Painting Below Zero: Notes on a Life in Art

4.14  ·  Rating Details ·  50 Ratings  ·  11 Reviews
From James Rosenquist, one of our most iconic pop artists—along with Andy Warhol, Jim Dine, Claes Oldenburg, and Roy Lichtenstein—comes this candid and fascinating memoir. Unlike these artists, Rosenquist often works in three-dimensional forms, with highly dramatic shifts in scale and a far more complex palette, including grisaille and Day-Glo colors. A skilled traditional ...more
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published October 27th 2009 by Knopf (first published 2009)
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John Hood
Dec 26, 2009 John Hood rated it it was amazing
Bound Miami SunPost December 3, 2009

Life as a Billboard

James Rosenquist Recounts the Massiveness

John Hood

Anyone who’s had the distinct pleasure of seeing James Rosenquist’s seminal “F-111” knows first-hand that scale doesn’t come any grander. Concocted with an alchemist’s sleight of hand and a ruthlessly contemporary eye, his 10’ x 86’ masterstroke is not only one of the boldest works of American art ever produced, it’s one of the most iconic. “F-111” also
Kathleen Hulser
Jul 17, 2010 Kathleen Hulser rated it really liked it
Straight from the brush. At this point, Rosenquist has a career as long as F-111, and in his charmingly direct voice he narrates his bilboardungsroman from Minnesota to Aripeka. I've always loved his explosive colors that so contradicted his deadpan pop imagery making it smack, crackle and pop. It's fascinating to read about his thought process as he worked on commissions such as one from French PM Mitterand in 1998, the 50th Anniversary of Eleanor Roosevelt's Universal Declaration of Human ...more
Rey Dekker
Jul 04, 2015 Rey Dekker rated it really liked it
Sort of zany and discombobulated, like the author. Met him back in the late 80's in Florida and he was interesting and twitchy; nothing changes. Good background information on the Pop Art movement though seems a little "name droppy" at times (Castro, etc.; sort of like a Forrest Gump character). Still a fun read (I burned through it in a couple of days) and the color plates of his artwork are very nice.
Sep 14, 2012 Patrick rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One of my favorite contemporary artists. Down to earth story of his life growing up on the prairie then a brief stint at the u of mn before his billboard painting career in NYC gave him his niche. Rosenquist is a very accessible artist, but there's genius there too. A contemporary of the modern greats, he knew many of them as they rose to global fame. As he has now done himself.
Maureen Flatley
Feb 20, 2010 Maureen Flatley rated it it was amazing
I'm also anxious to get to this memoir by iconic pop artist, James Rosenquist. It's the story of his childhood in rural North Dakota and Minnesota and his journey to NYC where via sign painting he became an essential part of NY's art scene. I've always loved his work so this book will be fascinating, I'm sure.
Sarah Trowell
Apr 22, 2013 Sarah Trowell rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Because I've known Jim my entire life, I particularly enjoyed learning more about his thoughts on different styles of art and also about his life as a child. His dad, Louis was a sweet man, and I really loved getting a sense of what he was like as a younger person and father.
This is a well-written, straightforward autobiography of painter James Rosenquist. If you ever wondered about Rosenquist's work, this is the book to read. He writes candidly about the thinking behind specific work, his political involvements and relationships, including with other artists.
Dec 03, 2009 Robert is currently reading it
Shelves: art
What's up with quality control at Knopf? This is the second copy we've had with issues; pages weren't cut square on the first, this has sheets folded under and mis-cut.
Sharon R. Anderson
Sharon R. Anderson rated it it was amazing
Dec 20, 2015
Jun 18, 2011 Kodiaksm rated it really liked it
Very enjoyable. I had never heard of this artist but found his life story facinating!
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