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Artist James Rosenquist began his career as a billboard painter, painting characters like Smokey the Bear on signs and the sides of buildings. Ironically, after decades of critical and commercial success making billboard-sized paintings that reside in all of the world’s major collections, Rosenquist’s Florida studio burned last April, destroying millions of dollars worth of art for an upcoming show. The incident came too late to be included in his new memoir, Painting Below Zero: Notes on a Life in Art, which the artist will discussat this talk. With Corcoran president Paul Greenhalgh, Rosenquist will discuss the inspiration for his massive canvases that celebrate ’60s consumerist Americana with a heavy dose of foreboding.
ROSENQUIST SPEAKS AT 7 P.M. AT THE CORCORAN GALLERY OF ART, 500 17TH ST. NW. $15 MEMBERS, $20 NON-MEMBERS. (202) 639-1700.