WESSELMANN ART FOR SALE
Tom Wesselmann (1931 – 2004)
Wesselmann was born in Cincinnati, Ohio on February 23, 1931. He himself states that he did not develop a particularly strong interest in art until well into adulthood, attending college in Ohio at Hiram College and the University of Cincinnati to study psychology. He was drafted into the U.S. Army for the Korean War in 1952. Whilst he was in the army, he began drawing and decided to pursue a career as a cartoonist after the war. He returned to Ohio and completed his psychology degree in 1954, going on to study drawing at the Art Academy of Cincinnati.
In 1956, Wesselmann moved to New York and was admitted to prestigious Cooper Union Art School. Studying under Willem de Kooning, Wesselmann developed an interest in landscape painting, taking a trip to rural New Jersey in 1958 for inspiration. Following this trip, Wesselmann decided to abandon cartooning and pursue fine art. He married Claire Selley, who had previously modelled for some of his work, in 1963 and they had three children together. After graduating from Cooper Union in 1959, Wesselmann became involved with the Judson Gallery in New York. The Judson Gallery offered Wesselmann – and contemporaries Oldenburg, Rauschenburg and Dine – free exhibition space. His relationship with the Judson Gallery led him into collages and assemblages, and he held his first solo exhibition at the Tanager Gallery in New York in 1961. His Still Lifes and Great American Nudes attracted attention in the New York art world, and in 1962, two of his Still Life works were debuted in the New Realists exhibition at the Sidney Janis Gallery.
Wesselmann became increasingly involved in the Pop Art movement, exhibiting and socializing alongside Warhol, Lichtenstein and other major contemporaries in New York. Wesselmann continued to develop his two major series Still Lifes and Great American Nudes well into the 1960s and 1970s. In 1980, Wesselmann published an autobiography and survey of his work under the pseudonym Slim Stealingworth. The 1980s show a marked change in Wesselmann’s material, as he begun to work in steel and alumninum sculpture and etchings, later becoming known as The Steel Drawings.
Wesselmann maintains a celebrated international profile, and is collected worldwide, including at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery in New York; the Art Institute of Chicago; the Chrysler Museum, VA; the Dallas Museum of Fine Arts; the Hirshhorn Museum & Sculpture Garden, D.C.; the Minneapolis Institute of Art; the Princeton University Art Museum; the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; the Musee d’Art et d’Industrie, France; the National Galerie, Berlin; the Berardo Collection, Lisbon; the Israel Museum, Jerusalem and the Museum of Modern Art, Japan.