Derrière L'Étoile, 1978, Lithograph
James Rosenquist (American, 1933 – 2017)
James Rosenquist spent his formative years in the midwest, a landscape that would inform his artistic sensibility. Following his studies in painting at the University of Minnesota from 1952 to 1955, Rosenquist studied at the Art Students League in New York. To earn a living, Rosenquist accepted a position painting billboards over Times Square. He applied the commercial techniques and scale of billboard painting to his artwork. His most famous works feature popular iconography such as John F. Kennedy, Marilyn Monroe, and classic automobiles. Rosenquist’s compositional interest in the circle, triangle, and square is evident in Black Tie and Derrière L'Étoile. The colorful staircase and crumpled paper in Derrière L'Étoile are motifs that surface in several of Rosenquist’s prints, alluding to paint he once witnessed splashing down the stairs in a fellow artist’s loft. Both lithographs were printed at Derrière L'Étoile Studios by master printer Maurice Sanchez.