Octavia | Art Gallery
4532 Magazine Street
New Orleans, LA 70112
American (1931 - 2004)
Tom Wesselmann was born in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1931 and is known as one of the founding members of the Pop art movement in America. His flat colors, clean lines, and bold yet seemingly anonymous presentation of the female figure characterized Wesselmann’s art for over four decades.
In 1956, Wesselmann moved to New York and studied at Cooper Union School for Arts and Architecture. He earned a living by working as a cartoonist for several journals and magazines as well as by teaching at a high school in Brooklyn. At this time Wesselmann began experimenting with collage. Using collages and assemblages, Wesselmann incorporated everyday objects and advertising into his works. His first solo exhibition was in New York in 1961. Wesselmann’s aesthetic use of everyday objects in his work led to his inclusion of the Pop art movement, which he disliked. He felt that while his work includes commercial objects and materials, his work is not a criticism of consumer objects. By the 1960’s, Wesselmann had become one of the leading Pop artists, favoring classical representation of still life, nudes, and landscape.
Over his career, Wesselmann continued to experiment with his materials, creating free standing shaped canvases, which showed small intimate objects on a grand scale during the 1970’s and metal works that resembled painted gestural brushstrokes through the 1980’s and 90’s. He died in 2004 in New York.