Tom Wesselmann (1931-) U.S. Pop artist, studied at Cooper Union (N.Y.) 1956-9; included in "The New Realists" exhibition at the Sidney Janis Gallery, N.Y., 1962. Matisse was one important influence. His works, often assemblages combining oil, enamel, collage, found images and ready-mades, include the Great American Nudes series of variations on the theme, which began in 1962, Still Life Painting, 30 (1963) and Tit Box (1970). Biography 1931 Born in Cincinati 1949-1951 Hiram College Ohio 1951-1956 BA,University of Cincinnati Cincinnati, OH 1954-1956 Art Academy of Cincinnati Cincinnati, OH 1956-1959 The Cooper Union New York Exhibitions 2000 Tom Wesselmann: Blue Nudes, Joesph Helman Gallery New York, NY 2000 Tom Wesselmann, JGM Galerie Paris, France 1999 Tom Wesselmann: Small Survey: Small Scale, Maxwell Davidson Gallery New York, NY 1998 Wetterling Gallery Stockholm, Sweden 1997 Tom Wesselmann, Galerie Benden Klimczak Viersen, Germany 1996 Tom Wesselmann Lasers and Lithos, Maxwell Davidson Gallery New York, NY 1995 Tom Wesselmann, Sindy Janis Gallery New York, NY 1994 Tom Wesselmann: Recent Works, Galerie Beatrice Wassermann Munich, Germany 1993 Tom Wesselmann: New Cut Outs and Drawings, Wassermann Galerie Munich, Germany 1992 Tom Wesselmann, Sindey Janis Gallery New York, NY 1991 Galerie Tokoro Tokyo, Japan 1985 Sidney Janis Gallery New York, NY 1984 Modernism San Fransisco, CA 1983 Sidney Janis Gallery New York, NY 1982 Recent Work by Tom Wesselmann, Sidney Janis Gallery New York 1981 Hokin Gallery Miami, FL 1980 New Sculpture & Paintings by Tom Wesselman, Sidney Janis Gallery New York 1979 Galerie Serge di Bloe Brussels 1979 Ehrlich Gallery New York 1978 Tom Wesselmann: Graphics 1964-77, Institute of Contemporary Art Boston, MA 1976 Sidney Janis Gallery New York American painter, sculptor and printmaker. He planned to become a cartoonist until his final year at the Cooper Union in New York, where he studied from 1956 to 1959 and was encouraged to become a painter. The powerful work of Willem de Kooning provided both inspiration and inhibition as he attempted to find a new direction centred around a tangible subject. Choosing the figure he began to make small collages of torn paper and found materials, as in the Little Great American Nudes of 1961–2; these culminated in large, aggressive compositions such as Great American Nude #3 (1961; Washington, DC, Hirshhorn). These and giant still-lifes composed of common household objects and collage elements culled from popular advertising images, such as Still Life #20 (1962; Buffalo, NY, Albright-Knox A.G.), brought him fame and notoriety as a founder of American Pop art. In the late 1960s an increasingly dominant eroticism emerged in works such as Bedroom Painting #13 (1969; Berlin, Neue N.G.), with its more literal but still intense colours and tight, formal composition. The pictorial elements, exaggerated in their arabesque forms and arbitrary colouring, became significantly larger in scale in his works of the 1970s, such as a series of Smoker mouths; enormous, partially free-standing still-lifes moved into sculptural space, and finally became discrete sculptures of sheet metal. In the 1980s he returned to works for the wall with cut-out steel or aluminium drawings such as Viviènne Doodle (3D) (1986; see 1987 exh. cat., no. 1), which replicate his familiar, graceful line in enamel on cut-out metal. He was also an innovative printmaker, adapting his imagery to lithographs, screenprints, aquatints and multiples in relief. An important retrospective of his work was held in Japan in 1993–4.

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