Tom Wesselmann’s Work in New York and the Netherlands

I find sometimes I get so excited working, especially when starting new ideas; I get so excited that I get uncomfortable. It almost feels dangerous, like I’m flirting with something dangerous. – Tom Wesselmann

Tom Wesselmann’s Work at TEFAF Maastricht

Tom Wesselman
Girl Eating a Banana, 1967-1968
Oil on canvas
51 1/2 x 75 inches
Almine Rech Gallery

One of the highlights of The European Fine Art Fair (TEFAF)  this year, has been the inclusion of Tom Wesselmann’s works from the Almine Rech Gallery. TEFAF, which has been held in Maastricht, Netherlands for more than thirty years, is one of the most prestigious exhibits in the world. French collector, Almine Rech, a big fan of the works of Tom Wesselmann, is new to TEFAF, and made her debut with the Wesselmann’s works in the Modern section of the show.

This year’s TEFAF Maastricht runs through March 24, 2019.

Tom Wesselmann’s Birthday Bouquet at the New York Armory Show

This year marks the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Armory Show in New York. With about $100 million in art changing hands over five days, The Financial Times reported, “The Armory Show Spotlights the best 20th and 21st Century Art.”

Tom Wesselmann
Birthday Bouquet (Hat Vase), 1988-91
Steel Painted
108 x 138 inches

Tom Wesselmann’s Birthday Bouquet (Hat Vase) reportedly garnered $160,000 at the Armory Show.

Tom Wesselmann’s Works at the Surovek Gallery

In his 1980 autobiography, which he wrote under the pseudonym Slim Stealingworth, Wesselmann wrote, “Many critics have described Tom Wesselmann as the most underrated painter of the American Art world of the 1960s.” Wesselmann received a degree in psychology from the University of Cincinnati in 1954 and then began to study drawing at the Art Academy of Cincinnati. He was a relatively successful cartoonist in Ohio, and decided to move to New York in 1956 to further his career.

Once in New York, he studied art at Cooper Union and decided to abandon cartooning for fine art.

Tom Wesselmann
Great American Nude #1, 1961
Photograph: Jeffrey Sturges/Estate of Tom Wesselmann/Licensed by VAGA, New York

Wesselmann said that it was a dream about the words red, white and blue that inspired him to paint the Great American Nude series, using the colors of the flag, with some gold and khaki thrown in.

As much as he may have thought he was underrated, the Great American Nude, shown at the historic New Realists show at the Sidney Janis Gallery in 1962, earned Wesselmann a great deal of recognition.

Tom Wesselmann
Nude from the Bedroom Blond Series, 1980
Aquatint
28 x 30 inches
Edition: AP 12/25
Pencil Signed, dated and numbered (l.r.)
For sale at the Surovek Gallery

Wesselmann continued to refine his nude paintings, using minimal design and primary colors.

Tom Wesselmann
Bedroom Face with Orange Wallpaper, 1987
Silkscreen
55 1/2 x 64 1/2 inches
Edition: 88/100 Signed, numbered and dated
For sale at the Surovek Gallery

See Tom Wesselmann Artwork in Our Gallery

References:
Gary van Wyk. Pop Art. Prestel Press. 2013.
Chloe Ashby. Five newcomers to watch at Tefaf Maastricht. Financial Times. March 8, 2019.
Caroline Goldstein. Price Check! Here’s What Sold—and for How Much—at the 2019 Armory Show in New York. March 11, 2019.
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