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House of Fire

Artist:
James Rosenquist (American, born Grand Forks, North Dakota, 1933)
Date:
1981
Medium:
Oil on canvas
Dimensions:
78 x 198 in. (198.1 x 502.9 cm)
Classification:
Paintings
Credit Line:
Purchase, Arthur Hoppock Hearn Fund, George A. Hearn Fund and Lila Acheson Wallace Gift, 1982
Accession Number:
1982.90.1a-c
Rights and Reproduction:
© James Rosenquist
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 925
Trained as a billboard painter, Rosenquist began creating large-scale, lavishly composed works as a Pop artist in the 1960s. House of Fire exudes the dynamism and sensuous polish that have characterized his work since that period. In this allegorical triptych, prosaic objects become strangely treacherous: a grocery bag is mysteriously suspended in air, a supernaturally radiant bucket of molten steel descends through a window, and fiery lipsticks align like a battery of guns. The allusions to violence, sex, and consumerism recall earlier works such as the artist's monumental F-111 of 1965, which mixes imagery of a U.S. Air Force fighter-bomber with that of a child and a mass of spaghetti, producing a heightened sense of seduction and danger.
[Castelli Feigen Corcoran, New York, 1981–82; sold to MMA]

New York. Castelli–Feigen–Corcoran. "James Rosenquist," March 3–April 17, 1982.

Museum of Art, Fort Lauderdale. "New Narrative Painting: Selections from The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York," February 9–26, 1984, no. 21.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Selection One," February 1–April 28, 1985, no catalogue.

Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. "James Rosenquist: A Retrospective," May 12–August 17, 2003, no. 97.

New York. Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. "James Rosenquist: A Retrospective," October 2, 2003–January 4, 2004, no. 97.

John Russell. "Art: A Good Way to Look at French Old Masters." New York Times (March 26, 1982), p. C24.

Kay Larson. "The Met Goes Modern: Bill Lieberman's Brave New Wing." New York Magazine 19 (December 15, 1986), p. 46, ill. p. 45 (color).

Lisa Mintz Messinger in 20th Century Art: Selections from the Collection of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Vol. 2, Painting: 1945-1985. New York, 1986, pp. 56–57, ill. (color, overall and detail).

William S. Lieberman in 20th Century Art: Selections from the Collection of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Vol. 2, Painting: 1945–1985. New York, 1986, p. 7.

Kathleen Howard, ed. The Metropolitan Museum of Art Guide. 2nd ed. (1st ed., 1983). New York, 1994, pp. 446–47, no. 33, ill. (color).

The Metropolitan Museum of Art Guide. New York, 2012, pp. 430–31, ill. (color).

Sarah Lyall. "Is There a Perp in the Painting?" New York Times (April 27, 2016), p. C1.



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