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Tom Wesselmann was one of the leading American Pop artists of the 1960s, through the 70s and 80s, rejecting abstract expressionism in favor of the classical representations of the nude, still life, and landscape. He created collages and assemblages incorporating everyday objects and advertising ephemera in an effort to make images as powerful as the abstract expressionism he admired. He is perhaps best known for his Great American Nude series with their fat forms and intense colors. In the seventies, Wesselmann continued to explore the ideas and media which had preoccupied him during the Sixties. Then in 1980, using the pseudonym Slim Stealingworth, he wrote an autobiography documenting the evolution of his artistic work. He continued exploring shaped canvases and began creating his first works in metal. He instigated the development of a laser-cutting application, which would allow him to make a faithful translation of his drawings in this new medium. The 1990s and 2000s saw the artist expanding on these themes, creating abstract three-dimensional images that he described as “going back to what I had desperately been aiming for in 1959.” In his final years he returned to the female form in his Sunset Nudes series of oil paintings on canvas, whose bold compositions, abstract imagery, and sanguine moods often recall the odalisques of Henri Matisse.

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