James Rosenquist's work, "Television or the Cat’s Cradle Supports," intricately weaves together figures, plant life, and cosmic symbols on canvas through vibrant paintwork. This artwork vividly portrays the essence of Rosenquist's artistic endeavors during the late 1980s and early 1990s, delving into the realms of light, spatial dimensions, and the concept of relativity.
The three overlays of imagery float through the velvety black galaxy dotted with stars and supernovas; there are fragments of a woman’s face, an eye chart, and two enormous purple passion flowers. A quiet commentary on ecology and politics, the work addresses life on earth and the choices made by humankind. Influenced by the vibrant flora around his studio in Florida, the passion flowers convey his respect for nature, its overwhelming power, and its inherent beauty. The flowers reflect the concerns of the Water Planet series of the late 1980s, which is both a celebration of natural plant forms and a prescriptive elegy to the desecration of the Earth’s natural habitats. The sheer physical scale of this painting envelops viewers and places them within a panoramic space that incorporates themes that are consistent with Rosenquist’s oeuvre.