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The Friction Disappears

1965 James Rosenquist Born: Grand Forks, North Dakota 1933 oil on canvas 48 1/8 x 44 1/4 in. (122.2 x 112.4 cm.) irregular Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of Container Corporation of America 1984.124.254 Smithsonian American Art Museum
3rd Floor, North Wing

Gallery Label

Rosenquist got his art training on the job, painting billboards in Minnesota and New York City, where he had to make food "delicious" and cigarettes "smokable." The Friction Disappears represents the effortless flow of pictures and information in our culture, where unrelated or contradictory ideas overlap one another. Rosenquist painted the car in the same hot hue as the canned spaghetti simply because he liked the color. The tiny electrons orbiting the globe on the car door are like the paths of ideas and images crisscrossing in the modern world. Rosenquist compares the uncanny combinations that result to "two soap bubbles colliding and coming together instead of destroying each other."

Exhibition Label, Smithsonian American Art Museum, 2006


Architecture - vehicle - automobile

Miscellaneous - written matter

Modern art movement - other - Pop Art

Object - foodstuff - spaghetti

Object - other - sign


paint - oil

fabric - canvas

About James Rosenquist

Born: Grand Forks, North Dakota 1933

More works in the collection by
James Rosenquist