In Focus

Silo 1963–4 by James Rosenquist

This In Focus presents Rosenquist’s Silo as a reflection on the image of the female consumer in the 1950s and 1960s, casting its prominent sculptural ‘T-zone’ as a metaphor for taste, consumption and advertising’s persuasive tactics.

James Rosenquist
Silo 1963–4
Oil paint on canvas, wood and Perspex
2870 x 3531 x 562 mm
Tate T01829
© James Rosenquist/VAGA, New York and DACS, London 2017

First exhibited in its current form in late 1964, Silo is the product of the artist’s revision of an earlier work known as Candidate 1963. This project considers the complex meanings of these two inextricably connected works – one partially hidden beneath the surface of the other – in the context of Rosenquist’s little-studied experiments at the edges of painting and sculpture in the mid-1960s.

Silo is explored here through Rosenquist’s ambiguous relationship with the work of Willem de Kooning, and through its connections to the artist’s early commercial work and the characteristics of 1960s sculpture. The project includes rarely seen film footage showing the original version of the work, and a previously unpublished interview with the artist concerning its complicated and increasingly unstable materiality.

Published in September 2017, the project is authored by Alex J. Taylor (University of Pittsburgh) and includes a contribution from Thomas Morgan Evans (University College London).

This In Focus project was made possible through support from the Terra Foundation for American Art.

ISBN 978-1-84976-423-0