Tom Wesselmann

1931 
Born in Cincinnati, OH. 

1955-56 
Studied at the Art Academy of Cincinnati.

1956-59
Studied under Nicolas Marsicano at the Cooper Union School of Art and Architecture, New York. A powerful influence for him was Willem de Kooning. In 1959, he turned to experimenting with small, abstract collages. He was a painter, sculptor and printmaker. He had planned to become a cartoonist until his final year at the Cooper Union. In 1960, he switched to painting objects and landscapes.

1961 
He made small collages of torn paper and found materials in his Little Great American Nudes of 1961-2, which culminated in large, aggressive compositions such as Great American Nude //3 (1961). These and his giant still-lifes composed of common household objects bought him fame and notoriety as a founder of American Pop Art. His Great American Nudes remain his best - known work.

1967 
He was represented at the Sao Paulo Biennale, and at the documenta "4" and "6", Kassel, in 1968 and 1977 respectively. His significant involvement with the Pop Art movement was acknowledged with his inclusion, in 1974 in the exhibition "American Pop Art", at the Whitney Museum, New York.

1970
His 1970's era series known as Smokers focused on the female nude with enormous cut out details of red lips, manicured fingernails and cigarettes. He developed a reputation for favouring more of a commercial look, removing any sign of the painter's hand.

1980 
He began work in aluminium and enamel, adapting the clear lines of his earlier paintings.

1993-94
An important retrospective of his work toured Japan beginning at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sapporo.

2004
Died on 17 December. At the time of his death he was working on nudes in the Abstract Expressionist style.

 

SELECTED EXHIBITIONS

1961
Tanager Gallery, New York, NY

1962
'The Figure', Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY

1963
'Pop Goes the East', Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston

1965
'Young America 1965', the Whitney Museum, New York, NY

1967
São Paulo Biennale, Brazil

1968
Documenta 4, Kassel, Germany

1974
'The Early Years: Collages 1959-62', toured USA
'American Pop Art', Whitney Museum, New York, NY

1976
Sidney Janis Gallery, New York, NY
'Illusions of Reality', the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia

1977
Documenta 6, Kassel, Germany

1978
'Tom Wesselmann: Graphics 1964-77', Institute of Contemporary Art Boston, MA

1979
Galerie Serge di Bloe, Brussels, Belgium
Ehrlich Gallery, New York, NY

1980
'New Sculpture & Paintings by Tom Wesselmann', Sidney Janis Gallery, New York, NY

1981
Hokin Gallery, Miami, FL

1982
'Recent Work by Tom Wesselmann', Sidney Janis Gallery, New York, NY

1983
Sidney Janis Gallery, New York, NY

1984
Modernism, San Fransisco, CA

1985
Sidney Janis Gallery, New York, NY

1991
Galerie Tokoro Tokyo, Japan

1992
'Tom Wesselmann', Sindey Janis Gallery, New York, NY

1993
'Tom Wesselmann: New Cut Outs and Drawings', Wassermann Galerie, Munich, Germany
Museum of Contemporary Art, Sapporo, Japan (and touring)

1994
'Tom Wesselmann: Recent Works', Galerie Beatrice Wassermann Munich, Germany

1995
'Tom Wesselmann', Sindy Janis Gallery, New York, NY

1996
'Tom Wesselmann Lasers and Lithos', Maxwell Davidson Gallery, New York, NY

1997
'Tom Wesselmann', Galerie Benden Klimczak Viersen, Germany

1998
Wetterling Gallery, Stockholm, Sweden

1999
'Tom Wesselmann: Small Survey: Small Scale', Maxwell Davidson Gallery New York, NY

2000
'Tom Wesselmann: Blue Nudes', Joesph Helman Gallery New York
'Tom Wesselmann', JGM Galerie Paris, France

2004
'Tom Wesselmann: New Works', Bernard Jacobson Gallery, London

2006
'Tom Wesselmann: The Sixties', Dominique Lévy Gallery, New York, NY

2013
'Tom Wesselmann', Alan Cristea Gallery, London
'Tom Wesselmann', Galerie Thomas, Munich, Germany

2014
'Beyond Pop Art: A Tom Wesselmann Retrospective', Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Canada

2015
'Arts & Foods: Rituals since 1851', Triennale Design Museum, Milan, Italy
'Paving the Way: Contemporary Masters', The San Francisco Gallery, CA

2016
'Tom Wesselmann: Collages 1959-1964', David Zwirner, London

 

PUBLIC COLLECTIONS

Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY
Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, CA
Sheldon Memorial Art Gallery at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE
Colorado Springs Fine Arts Centre, CO
Denver Art Museum, CO
National Museum of American Art, Washington, D.C.
The Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.
The John & Mable Ringling Museum of Art, Sarasota, FL
Wallrof Richartz Museum, Koln, Germany
Spencer Museum of Art, Lawrence, KS
Rose Art Museum at Brandeis University, Ann Arbor, MI
Frederick R. Weisman Art Museum, Minneapolis, MN
Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Minneapolis, MN
The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, MO
Washington University Gallery of Art, St. Louis, MO
Joslyn Art Museum, Omaha, NE
Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, NY
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY
The Columbus Museum of Art, Columbus, OH
Allentown Art Museum, Allentown, PA
Philadelphia Museum of Art, PA
Jack S. Blanton Museum of Art, Austin, TX
Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas, TX
The Chrysler Museum of Art, Norfolk, VA
National Gallery, Berlin, Germany
Museum of 20th Century, Vienna, Italy
Nasjonalgalleriet, Oslo, Norway
Musée d'Art ed d'Industrie, St. Etienne, France