The Friction Disappears

Media - 1984.124.254 - SAAM-1984.124.254_1 - 63740
Copied James Rosenquist, The Friction Disappears, 1965, oil on canvas, 48 1844 14 in. (122.2112.4 cm.) irregular, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Container Corporation of America, 1984.124.254

Artwork Details

The Friction Disappears
Not on view
48 1844 14 in. (122.2112.4 cm.) irregular
back upper right in oil: JAMES ROSENQUIST 1965 back upper right in acrylic: 44 x 50/James Rosenquist 1965 stretcher verso lower left stamped: (logo)/...Central Sur.../62 Third A.../New York... stretcher verso upper left in felt-tipped pen and ink: 9 stretcher verso upper left in ballpoint pen and ink: 40 3/4
Credit Line
Gift of Container Corporation of America
Mediums Description
oil on canvas
  • Architecture — vehicle — automobile
  • Still life
  • Modern art movement — other — Pop Art
  • Object — other — sign
  • Object — foodstuff — spaghetti
Object Number

Artwork Description

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