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Tom Wesselmann (American, 1931-2004)


Also known as:  Wesselman, Tom

The American Pop Artist, Tom Wesselmann, is a legend. He was born in 1931 and died in 2004. His works is currently displayed all over the world, including the Art Institute of Chicago and the Dallas Museum of Art. His workings were not limited to paintings but also sculpting and printmaking. He never intended to become a painter, but rather a cartoonist.

Wesselmann was encouraged by Willem de Kooning, and his inspiration is what gave him the drive he needed for his own paintings. The first sculptures that Weseslmann tried were made with bits of paper he tore up to make bigger shapes. These items, called Little Great American Nudes, were considered aggressive compositions, and his compositions are just as famous as his paintings. His ideology for creating real life applications is what many find fascinating.

In the 1970’s, his work entitled Smoker mouths, featured large still-life sculptures that were almost completely freestanding. He gained much notoriety in the pop art culture. Though the 1970’s were all about sculptures, he returned to his passion of painting in the 1980’s. His drawings were cut from steel, unique, and, the Vivienne Doodle was a 3D art piece from aluminum. Using his innovative printmaker abilities, he was able to adapt his visualizations to lithographs and other screen-prints.

In 1993 in Japan, they held a retrospective of his work. Though he passed in 2004, his fascinating sculpture work has gained notoriety for its intense use of color and the formal composition elements that were utilized. As one of the greats, his timeless pieces will live on and galleries full of his work are proof of that.

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