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Tom Wesselmann (1931- ) New Work

25th May – 30th June 2004

Sunset Nude with Wesselmann 2003
Oil on canvas, 190.5 x 266.7 cm

Along with Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein and James Rosenquist, Tom Wesselmann was a key member of the American Pop Art movement of the 1960s. All worked with imagery taken from popular culture and the mass media. Comic book heroes, movie stars, and advertising served as the iconoclastic subject matter of these radical figurative painters.

Pop art values were directly oppositional to all that had been held sacred to the high art of the 1940s and ‘50s, when Abstract Expressionism was king. Instead of abstraction, there was figuration; instead of deeply crusted, heavily worked surfaces, there were crisp, hard edges and flat, unmodulated colour; instead of angst there was ironic detachment.

Wesselmann adopted advertising images to make bold amusing still lifes such as the Del Monte Fruit Cocktail Can (1962) and created interiors, collages and assemblages using commonplace household items such as working fans, lights and toasters. However he has become known in particular for the series Great American Nudes, begun in 1961, whose provocative images raised a furore amongst the moral majority. Inspired by pin-ups, the works feature simplified, intimately erotic images of the female body.

For his first solo exhibition in the UK with the Bernard Jacobson Gallery, Wesselmann will contrast nudes, which mark his return to painting in oil on canvas, with abstract cut-out aluminium relief paintings. In both these bodies of work the influence of Matisse can be clearly seen; form and colour have become the predominant subjects of his work.

Tom Wesselmann lives and works in Manhattan. His work can be found in most of the major museum collections around the world.

For further information please contact Theresa Simon Communications
020 7629 9645

Bernard Jacobson Gallery
14a Clifford Street
tel ++44 (0) 20 7495 8575
fax ++44 (0) 20 7495 6210


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