Tom Wesselmann

Tom Wesselmann was one of the leading American Pop artists of the 1960s, rejecting the emotive style of Abstract Expressionism in favor of iconic representations of nudes, still lifes, and landscapes. He constructed collages and assemblages combining commonplace objects and advertising ephemera in order to create images as powerful as the Abstract Expressionism he admired while using recognizable, figurative imagery. His breakout 1961 series The Great American Nude, which he painted using only colors associated with American patriotism such as red, white, blue, gold, and khaki, brought him significant acclaim and cemented his signature style.

As a founding member of New York's landmark Judson Gallery (which also exhibited the work of such then-unknown artists as Robert Rauschenberg and Claes Oldenberg), he often used the venue to host a number of two-man collage shows with fellow artist Marc Ratliff. In 1980, under the pseudonym Slim Stealingworth, Wesselmann penned and published the autobiographical monograph Tom Wesselmann, detailing the evolution of his artistic work. The years after his death in 2004 showed a resurgence of interest in his unwavering and energetic body of work, including a 2005 retrospective at the Museo d'Arte Contemporanea in Rome.



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