The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 United States Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Gagosian Gallery Beverly Hills opens exhibition of works by Tom Wesselmann
Tom Wesselmann, Still Life with Blue Jar and Smoking Cigarette, 1981. Oil on shaped canvas, in 4 parts. Overall: 9 feet x 18 feet 5 inches x 5 feet 6 inches, 274.3 x 561.3 x 167.6 cm. ​Art © Estate of Tom Wesselmann/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY. Photo: Rob McKeever. Courtesy of The Tom Wesselmann Estate and Gagosian.

BEVERLY HILLS, CA.- Gagosian is presenting Wesselmann: 1963–1983, an exhibition of seven monumental paintings made by Tom Wesselmann over a span of two decades. This is the first time this group of works has been shown on the West Coast.

During the 1950s, when Wesselmann was a student at Cooper Union in New York, his drawings often took the form of hybrid collages that incorporated sketches and scraps of wallpaper and advertisements that he found in the New York City subway. As experimentation evolved into technique, his early assemblage paintings, which included functional objects and gadgets, gave way to shaped canvas paintings in which objects are arranged in space as tableaux. Diverging from the Abstract Expressionist principles that reigned in 1950s New York, Wesselmann played an integral role in defining New York Pop art, while retaining art historical precedents, including a notable inheritance from Henri Matisse.

In 1962 Wesselmann began accumulating printed commercial billboard posters, which he then transformed and recontextualized with his own brushstrokes and anomalous configurations. Still Life #29 (1963), twelve feet in width, depicts ordinary objects arranged on a kitchen table, including a fruit bowl in which a photographic apple is collaged over a lemon and orange that are flatly rendered in oil paint. Beyond the objects, common to any American kitchen, a Volkswagen traverses a road as if through the window of Wesselmann’s chimerical kitchen interior.

The scale of the billboard works was unprecedented in Wesselmann’s oeuvre, and prefigured the spatial and pictorial innovation of his Standing Still Life paintings, collaged compositions with proportions that dwarf human scale. These still lifes comprise multiple canvases shaped like the objects they depict and mounted on both wall and ground. Wesselmann achieved precise formal and chromatic arrangements by shifting panels until the composition “locked into place.”

Wesselmann’s Standing Still Life works, along with the contemporaneous Bedroom Paintings, are charged with narrative implications. He used still-life motifs to approach portraiture anew, suggesting human presence through arrangements of inanimate objects: the still life in place of the portrait, or nude. In Bedroom Painting #30 (1974), the objects in the still life become a surrogate for Wesselmann’s wife and lifelong muse, Claire, who is portrayed via her belongings placed on a bedside table. Absent from the image itself, the subject remains present to the artist. Still Life #61 (1976) turns this method inward, to self-portraiture. A six-part work measuring over thirty feet in width, it shows Wesselmann’s own toothbrush, cocktail ring, and house key. With a canny and irreverent eroticism, the objects suggest the passage of time: an arrival, an activity in progress, a night spent together.

The exhibition is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue, including a new text by Ara H. Merjian, a conversation between Michael Craig-Martin and Jeffrey Sturges, and a chronology by Lauren Mahony.

Tom Wesselmann was born in Cincinnati in 1931, and died in New York in 2004. Collections include Tate, London; Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt am Main, Germany; Hamburger Kunsthalle, Hamburg, Germany; Albertina Museum, Vienna; Museu Coleção Berardo, Lisbon, Portugal; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC; High Museum of Art, Atlanta; and Hara Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo. Recent institutional exhibitions include Museo d’Arte Contemporanea di Roma, Rome (2005); Tom Wesselmann DRAWS, Kreeger Museum, Washington, DC (2011); and Beyond Pop Art: A Tom Wesselmann Retrospective, Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (2012, traveled to Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond; Denver Art Museum; and Cincinnati Art Museum).

Today's News

July 21, 2018

New exhibition brings exquisite Impressionist masterpieces to Canada

First moonwalker Neil Armstrong's private collection to be sold at Heritage Auctions

Robin Williams possessions up for auction in New York

Russian Gulag museum forced to shut by authorities

Rare Bob Dylan handwritten letter sold for nearly $30,000 at auction

Gagosian Gallery Beverly Hills opens exhibition of works by Tom Wesselmann

Taiwan protesters pelt paint at famous Chiang Kai-shek statue

Exhibition of new sculpture by Charles Long inaugurates Tanya Bonakdar Gallery's space in Los Angeles

Martin Luther King Jr. letter on Vietnam & more added to Guernsey's auction

Sri Lanka's Galle stadium faces axe over Dutch Fort

Sondra Perry's first major U.S. museum exhibition opens at ICA Miami

Exhibition forges individual and collective identities across diasporas, dislocations, and reformations

All-new contemporary galleries open at Carnegie Museum of Art

"Mindbender Mansion," a unique experience for all ages, opens at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science

The Baltimore Museum of Art opens 'Maren Hassinger: The Spirit of Things'

Jennifer Klahn joins deCordova as Deputy Director for External Affairs, Sarah Montross appointed to Curator

Toledo Museum of Art engages the senses and the natural world in new gallery installation

Illustrations of Robert McCloskey on view at the Cincinnati Art Museum

Seattle Art Fair announces acquisition gift to Frye Art Museum

Three barn-finds shake off the dust to sell at H&H Classics car sale in Buxton

A rarely seen painting makes its West Coast debut

Drawings from best-selling book '101 Things to Learn in Art School' donated to Luther W. Brady Art Gallery

Tom Marioni's famous beer salon comes to Colorado Springs in special exhibition at the Fine Arts Center

Commonwealth and Council opens group exhibition at 47 Canal

Most Popular Last Seven Days

1.- Christie's to highlight several private collections in Jewellery sale

2.- Mystery of 'Salvator Mundi', the world's most costly painting

3.- High prices and world records achieved at Old Masters auction

4.- Newly identified Leonardo portrait on show in London

5.- Rare Edouard Cortes painting appears at Rehs Galleries after 114 years

6.- Understanding Jewellery: The definitive jewellery app

7.- Academy Art Museum offers only East Coast Richard Diebenkorn exhibition

8.- Egypt uncovers Old Kingdom cemetery containing colourful wooden coffins

9.- Garry Winogrand: Color is the first exhibition dedicated to the artist's rarely seen color photographs

10.- Sotheby's welcomes visitors to their newly-expanded & reimagined galleries

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher:Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

Royalville Communications, Inc
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful