Rosenquist's monochromatic images, especially his black and white pictures, are like photographs or film stills. While working on billboards, the artist usually based his images on black and white photographs tacked to a story board. Such sources were then blown up in scale, recombined, and, when necessary, colorized.  Rosenquist adapted such techniques for his serious studio practice, leaving a number of his early paintings in grisaille.  Indeed, such images have figured prominently in his work throughout his career and are many ways central to it, especially in terms of their associations with photography. (24)


1947-1948-1950. 1960.

Necktie. 1961.

Exit. 1961.

Prickly Dark. 1987

Snow Fence I. 1973.

White Cigarette. 1961-2.

Time Dust - Black Hole. 1992.


Pushbutton. 1961.

Air Hammer. 1962.

Spaghetti. 1965.


Daley Portrait. 1968

The Specific Target. 1996.


Zone. 1960-1.

Yellow Applause. 1966.

Red Applause.  1966.



"First of all I used the grisaille palette, black and white. I started with black and white.  What I wanted to do was to take these images, anonymous images from advertising, and place them in a picture plane, in a certain size and a certain scale- really well-painted fragments- and have the largest fragment be the most close-up and the most anonymous because it was magnified so much. It would be like seeing an image, but you wouldn't quite know what it was." (25)

- direct quote from Rosenquist