February 23 - April 15, 2006
L&M Arts, Dominique Lévy's and Robert Mnuchin's newly formed
gallery, is pleased to announce their second major exhibition,
Tom Wesselmann: The Sixties. L&M Arts has worked closely with Claire Wesselmann, as well as numerous
private collectors and public institutions, to develop this in-depth show, which consists of thirty-five paintings
and drawings created during Wesselmann's extraordinarily prolific and important early career.
Tom Wesselmann (1931-2004) was born in Cincinnati, Ohio and first
began working in the arts when he moved to New York to become a cartoonist. In 1956 Wesselmann enrolled at Cooper Union School for Arts and Architecture in the hopes of sharpening his drawing skills, but his professors encouraged him to become a painter. Wesselmann's earliest paintings were abstract - inspired by his artistic idol, Willem de Kooning.
At the end of the fifties, Wesselmann started to explore the figure and began a series of collages (some made of torn paper and found materials) which are regarded as precursors of his career making series 'Great American Nudes.' Many of the most important works from this historically critical series are on view at L&M Arts. Bold images, often focusing on erotic, and sometimes shocking, female nudes characterize many of Wesselmann's paintings and drawings from his early career. The 'cutout' appearance of his paintings evoke Matisse, while the 'day-glo' colors and depictions of everyday household objects firmly place these works in the American Pop Art genre. The Great American Nude series brought Wesselmann fame and notoriety as a founder of American Pop Art, along with Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein and Claes Oldenburg.
Wesselmann's career extended well beyond the sixties, and his
creative productivity continued up until his death in New York on
December 17, 2004. His innovative paintings, collages and drawings
from the early period are widely considered to be one of the
most important contributions to the early Pop movement in the
Tom Wesselmann: The Sixties will be accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue, including an interview with
the renowned art critic and dealer, Ivan Karp.
L&M Arts is located at 45 East 78th Street. Gallery hours are Tuesday - Saturday, 10:00 - 5:30.
Direct questions to Maureen Bray at 212.861.0020 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.