Rob Murray of the Mankato Free Press features The Hillstrom Museum of Art's latest exhibit, titled Made in U.S.A.: Rosenquist/Ruscha, a collection of works by the Pop artists James Rosenquist and Ed Ruscha on loan from the Collections of Jordan D. Schnitzer and His Family Foundation of Portland, Oregon.
Made in U.S.A. pairs works by two of the most influential and complex artists working in the Pop Art genre, James Rosenquist (born 1933) and Ed Ruscha (born 1937). Both grew up in the Midwest in the 1940s, but Rosenquist went to New York (from Minnesota) and Ruscha went to Los Angeles (from Oklahoma). Both worked as commercial artists early in their careers, Rosenquist as a billboard painter and Ruscha as a layout artist for an advertising agency. And both revel in the mind-opening poetics of ordinary everyday imagery, though their approaches are quite different. Rosenquist's work is characterized by his wild smash-ups of seemingly disjointed images, which can be viewed as expressive of the intense compression of imagery he encountered in New York, a "hot,” east coast approach. Ruscha, on the other hand, responded to the more isolated, horizontal, open spaces of Southern California, and he frequently uses words as images in creating his "cool,” west coast images.
Though this type of exhibit has never before been featured at the Hillstrom, the vivid colors and bold lines of the artists combine well, creating a gallery full of evocative imagery of pop art.
Made in USA: Rosenquist/Ruscha is open for viewing through April 23, 2017.