Tom Wesselmann is an American pop artist known for his erotic series: Great American Nudes.
Tom Wesselmann came to prominence during the Pop Art movement of the 1960s. During this time Wesselmann created collages and assemblages, which included everyday imagery from consumer culture. Using intense colours and tight, formal composition, Wesselmann’s artwork became more sexually charged, and like fellow Pop Artist Mel Ramos, he incorporated imagery from magazines and advertisements with historical portraiture and female nudes. The result was his Great American Nudes series. This series of paintings and limited edition prints propelled Wesselmann into the limelight and made him of the foremost artists of the 1960s.
Shortly after this series, Wesslemann being experimenting with Still Lifes and created a number of works (see Still Life #20) that were featured in the iconic New Realists exhibition of contemporary art at the Sidney Janis Gallery – the exhibition included the likes of Robert Indiana, Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol, Claes Oldenburg and Yves Klein.
After achieving notoriety, Wesselmann’s artwork increased in scale in the 1970s. He exaggerated the arabesque forms and arbitrary colouring in his larger paintings and created aluminium, enamel and steel freestanding sculptures.
His works are held in a number of gallery collections and his paintings, sculptures and screen-prints are still exhibited around the world.