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Tom Wesselmann

Tom Wesselmann, Portrait Collage #1, 1959 Pencil, pastel, collage, and staples on board, 9 ⅝ × 10 ⅞ inches (24.4 × 27.6 cm)© The Estate of Tom Wesselmann/Licensed by ARS/VAGA, New York

Tom Wesselmann, Portrait Collage #1, 1959

Pencil, pastel, collage, and staples on board, 9 ⅝ × 10 ⅞ inches (24.4 × 27.6 cm)
© The Estate of Tom Wesselmann/Licensed by ARS/VAGA, New York

Tom Wesselmann, Great American Nude #2, 1961 Synthetic polymer paint, gesso, charcoal, enamel, oil, and collage on plywood, 59 ⅝ × 47 ½ inches (151.4 × 120.7 cm), Museum of Modern Art, New York© The Estate of Tom Wesselmann/Licensed by ARS/VAGA, New York

Tom Wesselmann, Great American Nude #2, 1961

Synthetic polymer paint, gesso, charcoal, enamel, oil, and collage on plywood, 59 ⅝ × 47 ½ inches (151.4 × 120.7 cm), Museum of Modern Art, New York
© The Estate of Tom Wesselmann/Licensed by ARS/VAGA, New York

Tom Wesselmann, Still Life #3, 1962 Mixed media and collage on board, 30 × 30 inches (76.2 × 76.2 cm)© The Estate of Tom Wesselmann/Licensed by ARS/VAGA, New York

Tom Wesselmann, Still Life #3, 1962

Mixed media and collage on board, 30 × 30 inches (76.2 × 76.2 cm)
© The Estate of Tom Wesselmann/Licensed by ARS/VAGA, New York

Tom Wesselmann, Still Life #35, 1963 Oil and collage on canvas, 120 × 192 inches (304.8 × 487.7 cm)© The Estate of Tom Wesselmann/Licensed by ARS/VAGA, New York

Tom Wesselmann, Still Life #35, 1963

Oil and collage on canvas, 120 × 192 inches (304.8 × 487.7 cm)
© The Estate of Tom Wesselmann/Licensed by ARS/VAGA, New York

Tom Wesselmann, Still Life #20, 1962 Mixed media, collage, and assemblage (including working light) on board, 47 ¾ × 48 × 10 ½ inches (121.3 × 121.9 × 26.7 cm), Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo© The Estate of Tom Wesselmann/Licensed by ARS/VAGA, New York

Tom Wesselmann, Still Life #20, 1962

Mixed media, collage, and assemblage (including working light) on board, 47 ¾ × 48 × 10 ½ inches (121.3 × 121.9 × 26.7 cm), Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo
© The Estate of Tom Wesselmann/Licensed by ARS/VAGA, New York

Tom Wesselmann, Bathtub Collage #3, 1963 Mixed media, collage, and assemblage on board, 84 × 106 ¼ × 20 inches (213.4 × 269.9 × 50.8 cm), Museum Ludwig, Cologne© The Estate of Tom Wesselmann/Licensed by ARS/VAGA, New York

Tom Wesselmann, Bathtub Collage #3, 1963

Mixed media, collage, and assemblage on board, 84 × 106 ¼ × 20 inches (213.4 × 269.9 × 50.8 cm), Museum Ludwig, Cologne
© The Estate of Tom Wesselmann/Licensed by ARS/VAGA, New York

Tom Wesselmann, Study for Still Life #46, 1964 Pencil and liquitex on paper, 42 × 53 inches (106.7 × 134.6 cm)© The Estate of Tom Wesselmann/Licensed by ARS/VAGA, New York

Tom Wesselmann, Study for Still Life #46, 1964

Pencil and liquitex on paper, 42 × 53 inches (106.7 × 134.6 cm)
© The Estate of Tom Wesselmann/Licensed by ARS/VAGA, New York

Tom Wesselmann, Still Life #41, 1964 Synthetic polymer paint on wood and plastic, 48 × 60 × 8 inches (121.9 × 152.4 × 20.3 cm), Art Institute of Chicago© The Estate of Tom Wesselmann/Licensed by ARS/VAGA, New York

Tom Wesselmann, Still Life #41, 1964

Synthetic polymer paint on wood and plastic, 48 × 60 × 8 inches (121.9 × 152.4 × 20.3 cm), Art Institute of Chicago
© The Estate of Tom Wesselmann/Licensed by ARS/VAGA, New York

Tom Wesselmann, Still Life #44, 1964 Mixed media and collage on board with Plexiglas overlay, 48 × 48 inches (121.9 × 121.9 cm)© The Estate of Tom Wesselmann/Licensed by ARS/VAGA, New York

Tom Wesselmann, Still Life #44, 1964

Mixed media and collage on board with Plexiglas overlay, 48 × 48 inches (121.9 × 121.9 cm)
© The Estate of Tom Wesselmann/Licensed by ARS/VAGA, New York

Tom Wesselmann, Drawing for Great American Nude #73, 1965 Pencil on rag paper, 23 × 27 inches (58.4 × 68.6 cm)© The Estate of Tom Wesselmann/Licensed by ARS/VAGA, New York

Tom Wesselmann, Drawing for Great American Nude #73, 1965

Pencil on rag paper, 23 × 27 inches (58.4 × 68.6 cm)
© The Estate of Tom Wesselmann/Licensed by ARS/VAGA, New York

Tom Wesselmann, Seascape #10, 1966 Molded Plexiglas painted with gripflex, 44 ½ × 58 ½ × 1 ¾ inches (113 × 148.6 × 4.4 cm)© The Estate of Tom Wesselmann/Licensed by ARS/VAGA, New York

Tom Wesselmann, Seascape #10, 1966

Molded Plexiglas painted with gripflex, 44 ½ × 58 ½ × 1 ¾ inches (113 × 148.6 × 4.4 cm)
© The Estate of Tom Wesselmann/Licensed by ARS/VAGA, New York

Tom Wesselmann, Great American Nude #82, 1966 Molded and painted Plexiglas, 54 × 79 × 3 inches (137.2 × 200.7 × 7.6 cm, 1 of 5 unique color variations© The Estate of Tom Wesselmann/Licensed by ARS/VAGA, New York

Tom Wesselmann, Great American Nude #82, 1966

Molded and painted Plexiglas, 54 × 79 × 3 inches (137.2 × 200.7 × 7.6 cm, 1 of 5 unique color variations
© The Estate of Tom Wesselmann/Licensed by ARS/VAGA, New York

Tom Wesselmann, Still Life #56, 1967–69 Oil on shaped canvas, in 3 parts, overall: 93 ½ × 108 × 36 inches (237.5 × 274.3 × 91.4 cm), Musée d’Art Moderne et d’Art Contemporain, Nice© The Estate of Tom Wesselmann/Licensed by ARS/VAGA, New York

Tom Wesselmann, Still Life #56, 1967–69

Oil on shaped canvas, in 3 parts, overall: 93 ½ × 108 × 36 inches (237.5 × 274.3 × 91.4 cm), Musée d’Art Moderne et d’Art Contemporain, Nice
© The Estate of Tom Wesselmann/Licensed by ARS/VAGA, New York

Tom Wesselmann, Bedroom Tit Box, 1968–70 Oil, acrylic, assemblage, and breast of live model, 6 × 12 × 8 ½ inches (15.2 × 30.5 × 21.6 cm)© The Estate of Tom Wesselmann/Licensed by ARS/VAGA, New York

Tom Wesselmann, Bedroom Tit Box, 1968–70

Oil, acrylic, assemblage, and breast of live model, 6 × 12 × 8 ½ inches (15.2 × 30.5 × 21.6 cm)
© The Estate of Tom Wesselmann/Licensed by ARS/VAGA, New York

Tom Wesselmann, Still Life #59, 1972 Oil on shaped canvas and acrylic on carpet, in 5 parts, not including carpet, overall: 8 feet 9 ¼ inches × 15 feet 10 ¾ inches × 6 feet 11 inches (267.3 × 484.5 × 210.8 cm)© The Estate of Tom Wesselmann/Licensed by ARS/VAGA, New York

Tom Wesselmann, Still Life #59, 1972

Oil on shaped canvas and acrylic on carpet, in 5 parts, not including carpet, overall: 8 feet 9 ¼ inches × 15 feet 10 ¾ inches × 6 feet 11 inches (267.3 × 484.5 × 210.8 cm)
© The Estate of Tom Wesselmann/Licensed by ARS/VAGA, New York

Tom Wesselmann, Smoker #11, 1973 Oil on canvas, 88 ½ × 85 inches (224.8 × 215.9 cm)© The Estate of Tom Wesselmann/Licensed by ARS/VAGA, New York

Tom Wesselmann, Smoker #11, 1973

Oil on canvas, 88 ½ × 85 inches (224.8 × 215.9 cm)
© The Estate of Tom Wesselmann/Licensed by ARS/VAGA, New York

Tom Wesselmann, Still Life #61, 1976 Oil on shaped canvas, in 4 parts, overall: 104 ½ × 391 × 79 inches (265.4 × 993.1 × 200.7 cm)© The Estate of Tom Wesselmann/Licensed by ARS/VAGA, New York

Tom Wesselmann, Still Life #61, 1976

Oil on shaped canvas, in 4 parts, overall: 104 ½ × 391 × 79 inches (265.4 × 993.1 × 200.7 cm)
© The Estate of Tom Wesselmann/Licensed by ARS/VAGA, New York

Tom Wesselmann, Bedroom Painting #32, 1976–78 Oil on shaped canvas and painted platform, in 2 parts, not including platform, overall: 102 × 190 ⅝ × 85 inches (259.1 × 484.2 × 215.9 cm)© The Estate of Tom Wesselmann/Licensed by ARS/VAGA, New York

Tom Wesselmann, Bedroom Painting #32, 1976–78

Oil on shaped canvas and painted platform, in 2 parts, not including platform, overall: 102 × 190 ⅝ × 85 inches (259.1 × 484.2 × 215.9 cm)
© The Estate of Tom Wesselmann/Licensed by ARS/VAGA, New York

Tom Wesselmann, Bedroom Face Drawing, 1977–79 Pencil on 100% Bristol board, 29 ⅛ × 38 ⅛ inches (74 × 96.8 cm)© The Estate of Tom Wesselmann/Licensed by ARS/VAGA, New York

Tom Wesselmann, Bedroom Face Drawing, 1977–79

Pencil on 100% Bristol board, 29 ⅛ × 38 ⅛ inches (74 × 96.8 cm)
© The Estate of Tom Wesselmann/Licensed by ARS/VAGA, New York

Tom Wesselmann, Gina’s Hand, 1972–82 Oil on canvas, 59 × 82 inches (149.9 × 208.3 cm)© The Estate of Tom Wesselmann/Licensed by ARS/VAGA, New York

Tom Wesselmann, Gina’s Hand, 1972–82

Oil on canvas, 59 × 82 inches (149.9 × 208.3 cm)
© The Estate of Tom Wesselmann/Licensed by ARS/VAGA, New York

Tom Wesselmann, Bedroom Painting #63, 1983 Oil on canvas, 99 ¾ × 110 ½ inches (253.4 × 280.7 cm)© The Estate of Tom Wesselmann/Licensed by ARS/VAGA, New York

Tom Wesselmann, Bedroom Painting #63, 1983

Oil on canvas, 99 ¾ × 110 ½ inches (253.4 × 280.7 cm)
© The Estate of Tom Wesselmann/Licensed by ARS/VAGA, New York

Tom Wesselmann, Mixed Bouquet (Filled In), 1993 Oil on cutout aluminum, 74 × 52 × 7 ½ inches (188 × 132.1 × 91.1 cm)© The Estate of Tom Wesselmann/Licensed by ARS/VAGA, New York

Tom Wesselmann, Mixed Bouquet (Filled In), 1993

Oil on cutout aluminum, 74 × 52 × 7 ½ inches (188 × 132.1 × 91.1 cm)
© The Estate of Tom Wesselmann/Licensed by ARS/VAGA, New York

Tom Wesselmann, Nude Drawing 4/14/2000, 2000 Oil on canvas, 48 × 64 inches (121.9 × 162.6 cm)© The Estate of Tom Wesselmann/Licensed by ARS/VAGA, New York

Tom Wesselmann, Nude Drawing 4/14/2000, 2000

Oil on canvas, 48 × 64 inches (121.9 × 162.6 cm)
© The Estate of Tom Wesselmann/Licensed by ARS/VAGA, New York

Tom Wesselmann, Screen Star, 1999/2003 Oil on cutout aluminum, 109 × 139 × 43 inches (276.9 × 353.1 × 109.2 cm)© The Estate of Tom Wesselmann/Licensed by ARS/VAGA, New York

Tom Wesselmann, Screen Star, 1999/2003

Oil on cutout aluminum, 109 × 139 × 43 inches (276.9 × 353.1 × 109.2 cm)
© The Estate of Tom Wesselmann/Licensed by ARS/VAGA, New York

Tom Wesselmann, Sunset Nude with Matisse Odalisque, 2003 Oil on canvas, 120 × 100 inches (304.8 × 254 cm)© The Estate of Tom Wesselmann/Licensed by ARS/VAGA, New York

Tom Wesselmann, Sunset Nude with Matisse Odalisque, 2003

Oil on canvas, 120 × 100 inches (304.8 × 254 cm)
© The Estate of Tom Wesselmann/Licensed by ARS/VAGA, New York

About

The prime mission of my art . . . is to make figurative art as exciting as abstract art.
Tom Wesselmann

Tom Wesselmann (1931–2004) was one of the leading American Pop artists of the 1960s. Departing from Abstract Expressionism, he explored classical representations of the nude, still life, and landscape, while incorporating everyday objects and advertising ephemera.

Wesselmann was drafted into the US Army in 1952, two years into the Korean War. During his military service, he learned—then taught—aerial photography interpretation, and began to draw cartoons about his experiences. Upon his return to his hometown of Cincinnati, he completed a BA in psychology at the University of Cincinnati and began taking classes at the Art Academy of Cincinnati. In fall 1956, he moved to New York City to study art at the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, where the artist Nicholas Marsicano was one of his instructors. At Cooper Union, he met Claire Selley, who would become his wife and lifelong muse. Wesselmann's early drawings of Selley often took the form of hybrid collages, incorporating sketches, scraps of wallpaper, and found advertisements. Similarly, his early assemblage paintings, which include functioning objects and gadgets, present shifting images that advance and retreat depending on the viewer’s relative position.

Living in Brooklyn, Wesselmann supported himself by selling cartoons to the Saturday Evening Post, “gag” magazines, and advertising agencies. In the late 1950s, he cofounded the Judson Gallery in the West Village with Marc Ratliff and Jim Dine. After completing his studies at Cooper Union, Wesselmann spent three years teaching high school art and math. During the evening, he continued to expand his own artistic practice, making small portrait collages, such as his groundbreaking Portrait Collage #1 (1959). Wesselmann recalled: “I wanted my painting to be spatially and visually aggressive like de Kooning. But in order to be myself, I knew I had to forget de Kooning, just as he got around Picasso.”

Wesselmann is highly regarded for his Great American Nude series (1961–73), which combines sensual depictions of the female figure with references to art history and popular culture. Many of these lounging female subjects were painted in patriotic red, white, and blue, quoting the Western figurative tradition while incorporating elements of high voltage American advertising. In the late 1960s Wesselmann created close-up views of the nude in the Bedroom Paintings (1968–83). In these works a single part of the body, such as a hand or a breast, is juxtaposed with objects common to the bedroom—a light switch, flowers, the edges of pillows, and curtains.

From 1967 through 1981 Wesselmann worked on his Standing Still Life paintings, monumental works comprising multiple canvases shaped according to the outline of the commonplace objects that they depict; in 2018 the complete series of nine works was exhibited for the first time at Gagosian on West 24th Street, New York. After the Standing Still Lifes, Wesselmann continued to make three-dimensional sculptural work. He also developed an innovative technique of “drawing” with sculptural materials, cutting steel and aluminum in the shape of his drawn forms. His abstract works of the mid-1990s, through the early 2000s expanded this mode of working on a larger scale, and continued to push the boundaries between painting and sculpture.

Tom Wesselmann

Photo: © Jack Mitchell

Fairs, Events & Announcements

Takashi Murakami, Kiki, 2018–20 © 2020 Takashi Murakami/Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd. All rights reserved

Art Fair

Art Basel Hong Kong Online

March 20–25, 2020

Browse works by Georg Baselitz, Jennifer Guidi, Tetsuya Ishida, Jia Aili, Takashi Murakami, Mary Weatherford, Tom Wesselmann, and Zeng Fanzhi available exclusively online 

The selection is also on view in the Art Basel Hong Kong Online Viewing Rooms, which is accessible through artbasel.com and the Art Basel app.

Download the full press release in English (pdf), Simplified Chinese (pdf), or Traditional Chinese (pdf

Takashi Murakami, Kiki, 2018–20 © 2020 Takashi Murakami/Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd. All rights reserved

Chris Burden, How to Shrink L.A., 1999 © 2020 Chris Burden/Licensed by the Chris Burden Estate and Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Art Fair

Frieze Los Angeles 2020
How to Shrink L.A.

February 14–16, 2020, booth C06
Paramount Picture Studios, Los Angeles
frieze.com

Gagosian is pleased to participate in Frieze Los Angeles 2020. Taking Los Angeles’s system of highways as a literal and figurative backdrop, the selection includes Richard Prince’s full-scale car sculpture Untitled (2008) and Chris Burden’s ominously oversize L.A.P.D. Uniform (1993). The booth also includes work by Jean-Michel Basquiat, John Chamberlain, Urs Fischer, Theaster Gates, Piero Golia, Alex Israel, Sally Mann, Adam McEwen, Cady Noland, Sterling Ruby, Ed Ruscha, Taryn Simon, Robert Therrien, Andy Warhol, Tom Wesselmann, and others.

To receive a PDF with detailed information on the works in the booth, please contact the gallery at inquire@gagosian.com. To attend the fair, purchase tickets at frieze.com.

Download the full press release (PDF)

Chris Burden, How to Shrink L.A., 1999 © 2020 Chris Burden/Licensed by the Chris Burden Estate and Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Helen Frankenthaler, Omen, 1980 © 2020 Helen Frankenthaler Foundation, Inc./Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Art Fair

artgenève 2020

January 30–February 2, 2020, booth B25
Palexpo, Geneva
artgeneve.ch

Gagosian is pleased to participate in artgenève 2020, with modern and contemporary works by Davide Balula, Georg Baselitz, Helen Frankenthaler, Simon Hantaï, Damien Hirst, Grant Levy-Lucero, Henri Matisse, Olivier Mosset, Giuseppe Penone, Pablo Picasso, David Reed, Sterling Ruby, Spencer Sweeney, and Tom Wesselmann, among others.

To receive a PDF with detailed information on the works, please contact the gallery at inquire@gagosian.com. To attend the fair, purchase tickets at artgeneve.ch.

Download the full press release in English (PDF) or French (PDF)

Helen Frankenthaler, Omen, 1980 © 2020 Helen Frankenthaler Foundation, Inc./Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

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Museum Exhibitions

Cindy Sherman, Untitled (#112), 2003 © Cindy Sherman

Closing this Week

Andy Warhol bis Cindy Sherman
Amerikanische Kunst aus der Albertina

Through March 29, 2020
Schlossmuseum Linz, Austria
www.landesmuseum.at

Europe’s view of America is influenced by images of the entertainment industry: from film and television to advertising and newspapers. No other nation has placed so much reliance upon the power and impact of pictures and symbols as the US. With more than two hundred works of American art from 1960 to the present day, this large-scale exhibition, whose title translates to Andy Warhol to Cindy Sherman: American Art from the Albertina Museum, aims to illustrate how much our perceptions of truth and reality, facts and fake news, owe to America’s visual culture. Work by Gregory Crewdson, Roy Lichtenstein, Cindy Sherman, Andy Warhol, and Tom Wesselmann is included. 

Cindy Sherman, Untitled (#112), 2003 © Cindy Sherman

Tom Wesselmann, Seascape #10, 1966 © The Estate of Tom Wesselmann/Licensed by ARS/VAGA, New York  

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Tom Wesselmann
La promesse du bonheur

June 29, 2018–January 6, 2019
Nouveau Musée National de Monaco, Villa Paloma
www.nmnm.mc

This focused survey explores a number of specific aspects of Tom Wesselmann’s work and production, including their relationship to postwar economic abundance, Victorian and post-Victorian sexuality, and questions of female agency.

Tom Wesselmann, Seascape #10, 1966 © The Estate of Tom Wesselmann/Licensed by ARS/VAGA, New York  

Tatiana Trouvé, Untitled, 2007 © ADAGP, Paris 2017. Photo by Daniele Resini

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Dioramas

June 14–September 10, 2017
Palais de Tokyo, Paris
www.palaisdetokyo.com

This exhibition explores the diorama as an unexpected source of inspiration for contemporary art. At the intersection of art, cinema, and theater, this cross-disciplinary exhibition recontextualizes the diorama with a renewed approach to the history of spectatorship, including the influence of science and technology on popular culture, fun fairs, and exhibitions. Work by Duane Hanson, Anselm Kiefer, Tatiana Trouvé, Jeff Wall, and Tom Wesselmann is included.

Tatiana Trouvé, Untitled, 2007 © ADAGP, Paris 2017. Photo by Daniele Resini

Tom Wesselmann, Smoker #3 (3-D), 2003 © The Estate of Tom Wesselmann/Licensed by VAGA, New York

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LOVE
L’arte contemporanea incontra l’amore

March 17–July 23, 2017
Società per la Belle Arti Esposizione Permanente, Milan
www.lapermanente.it

For LOVE. L’arte contemporanea incontra l’amore, curator Danilo Eccher chose thirty-nine works by artists including Francesco Vezzoli, Andy Warhol, and Tom Wesselmann that depict love from their point of view. Visitors are invited to leave their testimony regarding the exhibition, creating a group recollection that will grow day by day.

Tom Wesselmann, Smoker #3 (3-D), 2003 © The Estate of Tom Wesselmann/Licensed by VAGA, New York

See all Museum Exhibitions for Tom Wesselmann