Still life with lilies and mixed fruit 1998
- About the artworkAbout artwork & ArtistTom Wesselmann is considered one of the major artists of New York Pop art, along with Roy Lichtenstein and Andy Warhol. Best known for his 1960s series “Great American nude,” which featured flat figures in an intense palette of red, white, blue, and other patriotic colors, Wesselmann, in an effort to reject Abstract Expressionism, made collages and assemblages that incorporated everyday objects and advertising ephemera.
In the early 1980s, he produced his first “Metal Works,” in which he shaped canvases and cut metal to create abstract three-dimensional images. In his final years, Wesselmann returned to the female form in the “Sunset Nudes” series, where the compositions, abstract imagery, and sanguine moods recall the odalisques of Henri Matisse.
But now the work of Tom Wesselmann ”Monica reclining on back, knees up” is special because no color has been used in this nude work. Compared to most of his other ‘’nude works.’’
- About the artist
Tom Wesselmann, an American Pop artist born on February 23, 1931 in Cincinnati, Ohio, was a printmaker, sculptor and collagist and a leading figure for Pop Art, often focusing on female nudes and magnified objects. He holds a psychology degree from the University of Cincinnati and a diploma in fine art from the Cooper Union in New York. Shortly after he served in the Korean War during the early 1950s. While staged in Korea he began drawing cartoons.
Wesselmann moved to New York where he started his Great American Nude-series in 1961, drawing from American media culture and imagery. His works were drenched in bold colours. Despite the fact that Wesselmann objected to the label of “Pop” in artist he was one of its leaders, together with Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein, experimenting with materials and imagery, including collage and sculpture. He held showings at the Tanager and Green galleries in the early 1960s.
He created art that incorporated and blended commonplace real-world items with historical subjects, often focused on reclining female nude. Wesselmann concluded his “Nude” series in the 1970s and turned to still life paintings. His objects changed as well. No more female nude but out of proportion everyday objects like toothbrushes and keys. During this period he also made his “Smokers” and “Bedroom Painting” art
Tom Wesselmann founded the Judson Gallery together with Dine and Marcus Ratliff and continued to live and work in New York until his death on December 17, 2004. Wesselmann was 73years old. His work is part of many internationally acclaimed public and private collections.
After his death many museums showed a renewed interest in his work and the Museo d’Arte Contemporanea Roma (MACRO) exhibited a retrospective in 2005 followed by L&M Arts in New York a year later. In 2007 Maxwell Davidson and Yvon Lambert, two galleries jointly held a retrospective for the “Drop-Out” series in New York.