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James Rosenquist, American, 1933 - 2017

Made in United States, North and Central America


Oil on two canvas sections

7 feet 11 1/4 inches × 8 feet 1/2 inches (241.9 × 245.1 cm)

© James Rosenquist / Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY

Curatorial Department:
Contemporary Art

Object Location:

Currently not on view

Accession Number:

Credit Line:
Purchased with the Edith H. Bell Fund, 1982

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James Rosenquist has called Zone his first entirely Pop painting, created not long after he quit his job as a billboard artist working high above the streets of New York City. Zone juxtaposes a woman's face with a dewy tomato, although the drastic difference in scale and the grayed tones of the composition render the painting's iconography virtually unrecognizable without careful scrutiny. With this work, Rosenquist initiated his practice of using scraps of magazine advertisements to make preparatory collages for his Pop Art canvases. The result is a fragmented composition sliced into two distinct but interlocking sections, or zones.

Additional information:
  • PublicationPhiladelphia Museum of Art Handbook (2014 Edition)

    James Rosenquist considers this work, created shortly after he quit his job as a billboard artist in New York, his first entirely Pop painting. Working from a preparatory collage made from scraps of magazine advertisements, he transferred his subjects—a model featured in an ad for moisturizer and an up-close photograph of a tomato—onto two large canvases, scaling the pictures to that of sign painting. Divided by a sharp zigzag, this composition of images reveals both jarring juxtapositions and subtle similarities, such as the sinuous tomato leaf echoed in the woman’s arched eyebrow. The painting’s gray tones unify the canvas and allude to the predominance of newspaper and print media in Pop art. Erica F. Battle, from Philadelphia Museum of Art: Handbook. Philadelphia: Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2014, p. 356