While the Earth Revolves at Night
1933 - 2017
While the Earth Revolves at Night
signed, titled and dated 1982
pastel on paper
Sheet: 36½ by 72¼ in. (92.7 by 183.5 cm.)
Framed: 49½ by 85 in. (125.7 by 215.9 cm.)
This work is in very good condition overall. The sheet is hinged verso to the mat along the top edge. There are artist pinholes in all four corners and at the center top edge. The edges are deckled and there are smudges along the bottom edge inherent to the artist’s working method. Framed under Plexiglas.
The lot is sold in the condition it is in at the time of sale. The condition report is provided to assist you with assessing the condition of the lot and is for guidance only. Any reference to condition in the condition report for the lot does not amount to a full description of condition. The images of the lot form part of the condition report for the lot. Certain images of the lot provided online may not accurately reflect the actual condition of the lot. In particular, the online images may represent colors and shades which are different to the lot's actual color and shades. The condition report for the lot may make reference to particular imperfections of the lot but you should note that the lot may have other faults not expressly referred to in the condition report for the lot or shown in the online images of the lot. The condition report may not refer to all faults, restoration, alteration or adaptation. The condition report is a statement of opinion only. For that reason, the condition report is not an alternative to taking your own professional advice regarding the condition of the lot. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS ONLINE CONDITION REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE/BUSINESS APPLICABLE TO THE RESPECTIVE SALE.
Castelli Feigen Corcoran, New York
Collection of Ethel Redner Scull, New York
Sotheby's, New York, 10 November 1986, Lot 36
Private Collection, Baltimore
Sotheby's, New York, 3 May 1995, Lot 207
Acquired from the above sale by the present owner
Clifford S. Ackley, 10 Painters & Sculptors Draw, Boston, 1984
Boston, Museum of Fine Arts, 10 Painters & Sculptors Draw, August - September, 1984.
“I’m interested in contemporary vision—the flicker of chrome, reflections, rapid associations, quick flashes of light. Bing-Bang! I don’t do anecdotes. I accumulate experiences.”
- JAMES ROSENQUIST
With striking synergy and complexity, James Rosenquist’s While the Earth Revolves at Night from 1982 demonstrates the tension between the mechanical and the corporeal. This was a common subject of contemplation for Rosenquist, a seminal figure in the Pop Art movement, for he frequently felt that industrial society interfered with the sensual and natural. The present work executed in lush pastel on rich black paper set the precedent for Rosenquist's eponymous painting of the same title—held in the collection of the Yale University Art Gallery—one of the artist’s monumental works from the early 1980s which constitute the apex of his period of renewal that occurred at the close of the preceding decade.
The iconographic elements of While the Earth Revolves At Night are presented in clear juxtaposition: intertwined gears against the the candy apple red finger nail dominating the center of the work is in high contrast with the gloved hand within a black-and-white scene on the left. The inclusion of gears is a reference to Rosenquist’s works from the 1960s, which also placed mechanical parts in opposition with fragments of the human body. The striking, shiny red nail at the center of the work reaches a menacing point, an iconography connoting that “[w]oman has become the predatory aggressor: the all-consuming enveloper and beast” (Judith Goldman, James Rosenquist, 1985, p. 60).