Collection 1950s–1970s


James Rosenquist’s F-111



Installation view of the gallery “James Rosenquist's F-111” in the exhibition "Collection 1940s–1970s,” October 7, 2022 - October 7, 2023. Photographed in October 2022. The Museum of Modern Art New York. Digital Image © 2022 The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Photo by Emile Askey
  • MoMA, Floor 4, 418 The David Geffen Galleries

James Rosenquist began to paint the 86-foot-long F-111 in 1964, amid the United States’ controversial involvement in the Vietnam War. Inspired by advertising billboards and mural-sized paintings, such as Claude Monet’s Water Lilies, he designed its 23 panels to wrap around the four walls of the Leo Castelli Gallery at 4 East 77th Street in Manhattan, where it would be displayed the following year.

Rosenquist took as his subject the F-111 fighter bomber plane, the newest, most technologically advanced weapon in development at the time, and positioned it, as he later explained, “flying through the flak of consumer society to question the collusion between the Vietnam death machine, consumerism, the media, and advertising.” Its jumps in scale, collage-like pairings of image fragments, and vivid palette exemplify the style that defines Rosenquist’s singular contribution to Pop art—a movement in which artists repurposed images and objects from the mass media, often as a means of social critique.

Organized by Cara Manes, Associate Curator, Department of Painting and Sculpture, with Danielle Johnson, former Curatorial Assistant, Department of Drawings and Prints.

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Installation images

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