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Stocking Nude # 4

Documentation
Origin United States
Period 1980-1999
Dimensions
W. 18.6 in; H. 8 in;
W. 47.24 cm; H. 20.32 cm;
Creation Date 1980
Description Stocking Nude # 4

8 by 18-5/8 in.
20.3 by 47.5 cm.
Signed, dated 80 and inscribed #4.

This work is number 4 from a series of 26 hand painted drawings each with different color combinations of hair, skin and stockings.

PROVENANCE
Sidney Janis Gallery, New York
Michael Lord Gallery, Milwaukee
Private Collection, acquired from the above in 1984
Private Collection, New York

Tom WESSELMANN
(Cincinnati 1931 - 2004 New York)

Tom Wesselmann, along with Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Robert Rauschenberg, and Claes Oldenburg were the leading figures of American Pop Art. Born in Cincinnati, Wesselmann earned a BA in psychology at the University of Cincinnati before studying at the Art Academy of Cincinnati. After moving to New York in 1956, he continued his studies at the Cooper Union School of Art. At first concentrating on drawing, he eventually gravitated toward painting and collage. He immersed himself in the city's underground cultural life and was a one-time participant in a Claes Oldenburg Happening. Wesselmann held his first solo show at New York's Tanager Gallery in 1961. Later that year he was offered a contract to show at the newly opened Green Gallery.

Wesselmann soon became widely known for his "Great American Nudes" series, which he presented in several solo shows at Green. Prominent in these large works are reclining female figures painted in bold, flat flesh tones. The eroticized figures in Wesselmann's paintings sport bikini tan lines and have exaggerated breasts, nipples and lips, but no eyes. In some ways his images of the female figure epitomize the art-historical convention of woman-as-object even as they satirize it. Inspired by Matisse's sensual nudes, Wesselmann paid homage as well to Mondrian in his formal arrangements of geometric shapes.

Throughout the 1970s, Wesselmann continued to experiment with commercial images of the glamour girl in works such as the "Smokers" series. Here, the mouth becomes an icon: using shaped canvases, he presented only a pair of glossy, bright red lips, from which a smoldering cigarette dangles suggestively. These pieces, along with myriad permutations of his odalisque theme, were shown in New York at Sidney Janis Gallery, with which Wesselmann had a long association from 1966 until 1998, when the gallery closed. While retaining crisp lines and bold colors throughout his career, he constantly experimented with new materials and techniques. In recent years, he worked with painted-aluminum cutouts, producing a series of landscape wall-reliefs as well as totally abstract compositions. Some of these pieces, along with large-scale paintings from recent years, were included in his last New York exhibition, held at Robert Miller Gallery in spring 2003. Over the course of his career, he participated in numerous museum exhibitions and had many gallery shows throughout the U.S. and abroad. In 1992, a major Wesselmann retrospective toured Japan, and most recently, in 2005, another major retrospective was held at the Museo d’Arte Contemporanea Roma. A full-scale U.S. museum survey of his work has yet to be mounted.
Styles / Movements Pop Art, Post War
Incollect Reference Number 114695
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