520 East 72nd Street, Suite 2C New York City, NY 10021 , United States Call Seller 212.861.8353


Stocking Nude # 4

Price Upon Request
  • 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.

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

    (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. In 2014, ‘Beyond Pop: Tom Wesselmann Retrospective’ was organized by the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts with the exhibition continuing on to The Cincinnati Art Museum and the Denver Art Museum.

    Wesselmann’s depersonalised treatment of the subject matter and the depersonalisation of the female body resulted in a new critical interpretation of the female nude. The artist deconstructs the male gaze and stereotype of the nude that has been part of our visual tradition for so long by making use of abstraction, cut-outs, an exuberant colour palette, the exclusion of the facial features like the eyes, and nose and underlining the sexual features. These techniques enable Wesselmann to question and challenge the traditional stereotype of the nude which leads to a portrayal of women that have regained power over their own bodies. Their beauty is no longer idealised, and their pose promotes no longer sexual availability. In front of us sits an independent confident woman that owns her sexuality. The female nude has come a long way and its execution can still shock, divide and spellbind the audience mirroring our cultural attitudes and exposing women’s position in today’s society.
    (Text by Drs. Quirine Verlinde)
  • More Information
    Documentation: Signed
    Origin: United States
    Period: 1980-1999
    Materials: Pencil and thinned liquitex on rag board.
    Condition: Excellent.
    Creation Date: 1980
    Styles / Movements: Pop Art, Post War
    Incollect Reference #: 114695
  • Dimensions
    W. 18.6 in; H. 8 in;
    W. 47.24 cm; H. 20.32 cm;
Message from Seller:

Schillay Fine Art, Inc. and Richard Schillay have carried on and expanded the art dealing tradition begun by Richard’s father, M. Edwin Schillay. For decades after World War II, M. Edwin Schillay was the foremost dealer of 19th century British art. He spearheaded the introduction to America of Victorian paintings on a large scale. Today Schillay Fine Art has greatly expanded its interests and offering -- well into the fields of Impressionism, Post-Impressionism, Modern, and Post-War art.

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