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Tom Wesselmann

Wesselmann: 1963–1983

July 12–August 24, 2018
Beverly Hills

Installation video

Installation video

Installation view Artwork © The Estate of Tom Wesselmann/Licensed by VAGA, New York. Photo: Jeff McLane

Installation view

Artwork © The Estate of Tom Wesselmann/Licensed by VAGA, New York. Photo: Jeff McLane

Installation view Artwork © The Estate of Tom Wesselmann/Licensed by VAGA, New York. Photo: Jeff McLane

Installation view

Artwork © The Estate of Tom Wesselmann/Licensed by VAGA, New York. Photo: Jeff McLane

Installation view Artwork © The Estate of Tom Wesselmann/Licensed by VAGA, New York. Photo: Jeff McLane

Installation view

Artwork © The Estate of Tom Wesselmann/Licensed by VAGA, New York. Photo: Jeff McLane

Installation view Artwork © The Estate of Tom Wesselmann/Licensed by VAGA, New York. Photo: Jeff McLane

Installation view

Artwork © The Estate of Tom Wesselmann/Licensed by VAGA, New York. Photo: Jeff McLane

Works Exhibited

Tom Wesselmann, Still Life #29, 1963 Oil and collage on canvas, in 2 parts, overall: 108 × 144 inches (274.3 × 365.8 cm)© The Estate of Tom Wesselmann/Licensed by VAGA, New York

Tom Wesselmann, Still Life #29, 1963

Oil and collage on canvas, in 2 parts, overall: 108 × 144 inches (274.3 × 365.8 cm)
© The Estate of Tom Wesselmann/Licensed by VAGA, New York

Tom Wesselmann, Still Life with Blue Jar and Smoking Cigarette, 1981 Oil on shaped canvas, in 4 parts, overall: 108 × 221 × 66 inches (274.3 × 561.3 × 167.6 cm)© The Estate of Tom Wesselmann/Licensed by VAGA, New York

Tom Wesselmann, Still Life with Blue Jar and Smoking Cigarette, 1981

Oil on shaped canvas, in 4 parts, overall: 108 × 221 × 66 inches (274.3 × 561.3 × 167.6 cm)
© The Estate of Tom Wesselmann/Licensed by 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 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 VAGA, New York

About

I used what was around me, so my culture was what I used. But I didn’t use it for cultural reasons—it was not a cultural comment.
—Slim Stealingworth (a pseudonym of Tom Wesselmann)

Gagosian is pleased to present Wesselmann: 1963–1983, an exhibition of seven monumental paintings made by Tom Wesselmann over a span of two decades. This is the first time this group of works has been shown on the West Coast.

During the 1950s, when Wesselmann was a student at Cooper Union in New York, his drawings often took the form of hybrid collages that incorporated sketches and scraps of wallpaper and advertisements that he found in the New York City subway. As experimentation evolved into technique, his early assemblage paintings, which included functional objects and gadgets, gave way to shaped canvas paintings in which objects are arranged in space as tableaux. Diverging from the Abstract Expressionist principles that reigned in 1950s New York, Wesselmann played an integral role in defining New York Pop art, while retaining art historical precedents, including a notable inheritance from Henri Matisse.

In 1962 Wesselmann began accumulating printed commercial billboard posters, which he then transformed and recontextualized with his own brushstrokes and anomalous configurations. Still Life #29 (1963), twelve feet in width, depicts ordinary objects arranged on a kitchen table, including a fruit bowl in which a photographic apple is collaged over a lemon and orange that are flatly rendered in oil paint. Beyond the objects, common to any American kitchen, a Volkswagen traverses a road as if through the window of Wesselmann’s chimerical kitchen interior.

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