Study for Star Sack

James Rosenquist

Study for Star Sack, 1970
Charcoal and graphite on paper
26 1/8 x 19 1/4 inches (66.3 x 48.8 cm)
Gail and Eugene Combs, Connecticut
The Collection of Mildred S. and Herbert C. Lee
“Drawings: Techniques and Types,” University of Connecticut Museum of Art, February - March 1975

Although there is no evidence of a finished painting in James Rosenquist’s inventory titled “Star Sack” this charcoal drawing whose title is ‘Study for Star Sack’ dated 1970 relates in imagery to a series of drawings he finished in 1969 and 1970 title Bunraku I, II and III as well as a 1970 print also known as Bunraku.

The balloons also prefigure in the fragmented imagery of Rosenquist’s painting “Flamingo Capsule” which was painted the same year as this drawing, both of which are listed in Leo Castelli’s exhibition lists.

The repetitive use of the balloon imagery is typical of Rosenquist’s fixation on an image recognizable to all but varying in its context. The charcoal drawings suggest documents or imply a photographic reality which is emblematic of his paintings.