Cara Manes blogs a history of James Rosenquist's monumental painting F-111 that was recently re-installed a the Museum of Modern Art, New York. The painting will remain on view through July 30, 2012.
Manes notes that "The subject, the F-111 fighter-bomber plane, was in development at the time as part of a military initiative that ended up costing $75 million; funded by American tax dollars, it was meant to be the most technologically advanced weapon in the U.S. Air Force's arsenal. Rosenquist painted the body of the plane to span the work's 23 panels, interspersed with spliced-in images of commercial products and references to war—fragments of what he has called 'the flak of consumer society.' Through this expanse of colliding visual motifs, F-111 points to what the artist has described as 'the collusion between the Vietnam death machine, consumerism, the media, and advertising.' "