Tom Wesselmann

American | Pop Art

b. 1931

Tom Wesselmann was an American artist known for his collages, sculptures, and screenprints that stylized the female figure. Often isolating segments of the body—red lips with a cigarette, a single nipple, or a stylish shoe—his artworks always seized a viewer’s attention. Wesselmann studied drawing at the Art Academy of Cincinnati. He is best known for his 1960s series “Great American Nude” which featured flat figures in a palette of red, white, and blue colors. From 1967 through 1981 he worked on “Standing Still Life” paintings, the canvases shaped according to the outline of the commonplace objects that they depict. He also developed an innovative technique of “drawing” with sculptural materials, cutting steel and aluminum in the shape of his drawn forms. Wesselmann died in 2004. The artist’s works are in the collections of the Art Institute of Chicago, The Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Tate Gallery in London, and the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.