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Maker(s):Rosenquist, James Albert
Culture:American (1933-2017)
Title:Sheer Line
Date Made:1979
Materials:Color lithograph on paper
Measurements:overall: 29 1/4 in x 44 3/4 in; 74.295 cm x 113.665 cm
Accession Number:  UM 2004.12
Credit Line:Gift of Lois Beurman Torf (Class of 1946)
Museum Collection:  University Museum of Contemporary Art at UMASS Amherst

Imagery of fountain pen nib, rowboat, lip, mouth of bottle or jar.
At bottom: edition no., title, signature, year.

Label Text:
2012 Curatorial Fellowship Exhibition: The Domestic Sphere Goes Pop
James Rosenquist’s works in this exhibition revolve less around a literal question of presence versus absence but more a disjointed vision of mediated reality. For example, in Sheer Line Rosenquist appropriates the style of advertisements and billboards with flattened images and bright, bold colors, however once again the expectations of the viewer are not met. We are used to receiving a strong message or narrative in advertisements but Rosenquist denies this luxury instead leaving the viewer with fragments and questions. The incongruent elements, the jar lid, a bottle opening, a bottom lip, a rowboat, and the tip of a fountain pen, are all common objects but composed in this way become unfamiliar and strange. In Sheer Line, Rosenquist represents the unfulfilled satisfaction of commodity culture through fragmentation. Douglas Crimp, writing about a younger generation coming of age after Pop Art will call attention to a similar sense of the dynamic between absence and presence; Crimp states, “Their sense of narrative is one of its simultaneous presence and absence, a narrative ambiance stated but not fulfilled.” The accumulation of objects in Sheer Line mirrors Crimp’s sentiment as Rosenquist’s print alludes to a presence through absence.
Kristen Rudy and Rebecca Bernard

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1 Related People

Rosenquist, James Albert
American (1933-2017)
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