James Rosenquist Gets an ‘A’ in Sociology

THE DAILY PIC: Did dry sociology lead to hipster Pop art?

James Rosenquist Floating to the Top 1964

THE DAILY PIC: James Rosenquist painted (and glued) Floating to the Top in 1964, and it is now on view in a historical show at Paul Kasmin Gallery in New York. That show is dedicated to the (very) late curator Henry Geldzahler, and a mega-exhibition of New York art that he held at the Met in 1969. Geldzahler is a hero of mine, of course, because he was one of the first supporters of Warhol. But what interests me about this particular Rosenquist is that it makes clear how the new discipline of sociology was all the rage in the early 1960s. Pop art, whether Rosenquist’s or Warhol’s, might not have existed if people hadn’t been talking about how the lower-lower middle class related to the upper-upper. In that context, crossing over between high and low meant a whole lot extra. (Artwork licensed by VAGA, New York)

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