Monday, March 26, 2018

The Pomegranate and Pop Art




The first Shadow Life Series was made up of small drawings of flowers and edibles. These were brought into the house at various times of the day. Drawn slowly over many hours, they include cast shadows upon a surface.

The second Shadow Life Series (below) was painted in 2017 in oil on canvas, as rapid colour studies using large brushes. The paintings are a tribute to the Pop Art painter James Rosenquist who passed away on 31st March 2017. On that day, I was gifted some pomegranate fruits. Thinking of Rosenquist, these were painted in a large format, and very quickly over the hours before and after midday. As a tribute to Rosenquist, the works have shadow within them but no shadow is cast by the fruit. They remain held in light.

Rosenquist was one of the originators of the vogue for large format paintings of everyday imagery and objects that formed part of the Pop Art movement. So when we enlarge imagery today we do so perhaps because the idea has been around since the 1960's when a few bright artists in the USA took a leap into something new and began to paint very large pictures for art gallery installations.

Rosenquist began his career as a painter of billboard advertisements and his work continued to be monumental throughout his career.  For a contemporary botanical artist, a large roll of paper is considered quite massive in comparison to the diminutive botanical drawings of the nineteenth century. But seen in the context of the Rosenquist work, the larger pieces of contemporary botanical art remain relatively minute.









Shadow Life Series 2
Midday, no Shadow - Homage to Rosenquist
Punica granatum Colour Study
Oil on Canvas
90 x 90 cm
2017

Shadow Life Series 2
Midday, no Shadow - Homage to Rosenquist
Punica granatum 
Oil on Canvas - Colour Study
90 x 90 cm
2017





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