James Rosenquist, Busy Signal, 1970

Artist: James Rosenquist (1933 - 2017)
Title:Busy Signal, 1970
Reference:Glenn 29
Medium:Color Lithograph with Reflective Mylar Screenprint on Arches Paper
Image Size:18 in x 12 in (45.8 cm x 30.6 cm)
Sheet Size:21 1/8 in x 15 3/4 in (53.7 cm x 40.2 cm )
Edition:From the numbered edition of 84.
Signature:This work is hand-signed and dated by James Rosenquist (North Dakota, 1933 – 2017) in pencil in the lower right margin. Published by Hollander Workshop, NYC.
Condition:This work is in excellent condition.
ID #w-7928
Price on Request


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Historical Description

James Rosenquist Busy Signal, 1970 is a visually stunning work that shows the realistic nature of being an artist through visual representation. Using black and white to juxtapose a vibrant counterpart, Rosenquist grants us a glimpse into this figurative exploration of meaning by allowing us the full scope of his emotional range.


The left side of this work is bleak and dismal; a bill from a telephone company for twenty-five cents is titled to the left with the ides of the paper seemingly scrunched up. A bullet hole that gives the appearance of glass shattering lays atop the phone bill, giving the appearance of this bill being a death sentence. To contrast this, Rosenquist has created a spirited composition on the right, with bright colors bursting from the page as they harmonize together. Lines of baby blue, red, yellow, lavender, pastel green, and pink are organized into the shape of a brush, each line acting as a strand of the brush saturated with paint. The background is drenched in a bright red, small areas of white space bubble through the surface. Emerging from the bristles are wire fencing, that twists and turns throughout the work, the sharp points clearly visible.

The juxtaposition between black and white to color highlights and showcases Rosenquist’s talents in bending regular objects to a brief narrative that allow the viewer to contemplate the difficulties of managing expectations. That there is a harsh reality to the nature of society, and that being an artist comes at a material and emotional cost; even pursuit of something you love can still become harmful and damaging.

Created in 1968, this Color lithograph with reflective Mylar screenprint on Arches paper is hand-signed and dated by James Rosenquist (North Dakota, 1933 – 2017) in pencil in the lower right margin. Numbered from the edition of 84 in pencil in the lower left marign.

Catalogue Raisonné & COA:
James Rosenquist Busy Signal, 1970 is fully documented and referenced in the below catalogue raisonnés and texts (copies will be enclosed as added documentation with the invoices that will accompany the sale of the work).

  1. Glenn, Constance. Time Dust James Rosenquist: Complete Graphics: 1962-1992. Rizzoli, 1993. Listed and illustrated as catalogue raisonné no. 29.
  2. A Certificate of Authenticity will accompany this artwork.

About the Framing:
Framed to museum-grade, conservation standards, James Rosenquist Busy Signal, 1970 is presented in a complementary moulding and finished with silk-wrapped mats and optical grade Plexiglas.