Tom Wesselmann (American, 1931–2004), a central member of the Pop Art movement, was born in Cincinnati, OH. He attended the University of Cincinnati before serving in the army from 1951 to 1954. While he was in the service, he began drawing cartoons, a hobby which he decided to pursue as a career when his two-year tour ended. After graduating from the Art Academy of Cincinnati, he was accepted into Cooper Union in New York, where he was encouraged by faculty members to pursue painting and printmaking.

In the early 1960s, he began to make small collages and assemblages, which included everyday imagery from magazines, advertisements, and consumer culture. His work became more sexually charged in the late 1960s, culminating in his erotic series, Great American Nudes. Wesselmann’s work increased in scale in the 1970s, as he began painting simple objects on shaped canvases in his Standing Still Life series. Later in the 1970s, he created cut-out compositions in aluminum, enamel, and steel. In the last two years of his life, he returned to the female nude that had become so iconic in his work, producing the Sunset Nude series. Although stylistically similar to the flattened females of his earlier series, the women in the Sunset Nude series appear more abstracted and playful, alluding to the famous nudes of Henri Matisse and Man Ray.

Timeline

1931
Born in Cincinnati, USA
1949–1951
Attended Hiram College, Hiram, USA
1954–1956
Attended the Art Academy of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, USA
1956–1959
Attended the Cooper Union, New York, USA
1951–1965
BA, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, USA
2004
Died in New York, USA

Exhibitions

2013
Pop Art Accrochage, Fluegel-Roncak Gallery, Nuremberg, Germany
Tom Wesselmann, Galerie Thomas Modern, Munich, Germany
2012
Objects Of Desire, Davidson Contemporary, New York, NY
Objects Of Desire, Maxwell Davidson Gallery, New York, USA
Beyond Pop-Art, The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Musée des beaux-arts de Montréal, Montreal, Canada
Tom Wesselmann, Galerie de Bellefeuille, Montreal, Canada
Tom Wesselmann, David Janis Gallery, New York, USA
2011
Highlights, Galerie Klaus Benden, Cologne, Germany
Grafiken, Galerie Klaus Benden, Cologne, Germany
Tom Wesselmann, Kreeger Museum, Washington, D.C.
Galerie Fluegel-Roncak TOM WESSELMANN - Nudes and Flowers - Galerie Fluegel-Roncak, Nuremberg
2010
Tom Wesselmann: Plastic Works, Maxwell Davidson Gallery, New York, USA (solo)
Tom Wesselmann Draws, Museum of Art, Fort Lauderdale, USA (solo)
Tom Wesselmann: 1958 - 2004, Haunch of Venison Gallery, London, England (solo)
2008
Dessins, gouaches, maquettes et peintures, JGM Galerie, Paris, France (solo)
2007
Tom Wesselmann: The Columns Gallery, Seoul, Korea (solo)
Tom Wesselmann: Drop-Out, Yvon Lambert Gallery/Maxwell Davidson Gallery, New York, USA (solo)
Tom Wesselmann: Drop-Out, Maxwell Davidson Gallery, New York, USA (solo)
2006
Tom Wesselmann: Nudes, The Andipa Gallery, London, England (solo)
2004
Marcel Strouk / Galerie Rive Gauche, Paris, France (solo)
2000
Tom Wesselmann: Blue Nudes, Joesph Helman Gallery, New York, USA (solo)
Tom Wesselmann, JGM Galerie, Paris, France (solo)
1999
Tom Wesselmann: Small Survey: Small Scale, Maxwell Davidson Gallery, New York, USA (solo)
1998
Wetterling Gallery, Stockholm, Sweden
1997
Tom Wesselmann, Galerie Benden Klimczak Viersen, Germany (solo)
1996
Tom Wesselmann Lasers and Lithos, Maxwell Davidson Gallery, New York, USA (solo)
1995
Tom Wesselmann, Sidney Janis Gallery, New York, USA (solo)
1994
Tom Wesselmann: Recent Works, Galerie Beatrice Wassermann, Munich, Germany (solo)
1993
Tom Wesselmann: New Cut Outs and Drawings, Wassermann Galerie, Munich, Germany (solo)
1992
Tom Wesselmann, Sidney Janis Gallery, New York, USA (solo)
1991
Galerie Tokoro, Tokyo, Japan (solo)
1985
Sidney Janis Gallery, New York, USA (solo)
1983
Sidney Janis Gallery, New York, USA (solo)
1982
Recent Work by Tom Wesselmann, Sidney Janis Gallery, New York, USA (solo)
1981
Hokin Gallery, Miami, USA
1980
New Sculpture & Paintings by Tom Wesselman, Sidney Janis Gallery, New York, USA (solo)
1979
Galerie Serge di Bloe, Brussels, Belgium
Ehrlich Gallery, New York, USA
Ehrlich Gallery, New York, USA
1978
Tom Wesselmann: Graphics 1964-77, Institute of Contemporary Art Boston, USA (solo)
1976
Sidney Janis Gallery, New York, USA (solo)

Public Collections

Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY
Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY
Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN
Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Minneapolis, MN
Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, PA
Hirshhorn Museum & Sculpture Garden, Washington D.C.
Museum of Modern Art, Toyama, Japan
Takashima Art Museum, Tokya, Japan