Tom Wesselmann (23.2.1931 – 17.12.2004) was an American painter, graphic designer and object artist of Pop Art.
ART AND PSYCHOLOGY
In 1952, Wesselmann was drafted into military service in the Korean War. Upon his return, he studied psychology at the University of Cincinnati. In 1956 he studied art at the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art in New York. He then earned his living by selling comic drawings to magazines and advertising agencies. Afterwards he went on to work as an art and math teacher at a high school and co-founded the Judson Gallery in New York with Jim Dine and Marcus Ratliff.
GREAT AMERICAN NUDES
From the beginning of the 1960s, Wesselmann painted his „Great American Nudes“. These large-format nude paintings refer to classical nudes in art history, presenting the female body as a faceless projection surface for economic and sexual interests.
The Bedroom Paintings, created from 1968 onwards, show isolated naked body parts, which Wesselmann combines with flowers and objects found in bedrooms such as lamps, cushions and curtains.
Tom Wesselmann’s paintings make use of the advertising aesthetics of the 1960s and appear to have been put together like a collage in their colour-flat painting style. His work provokes the question of whether the objectification of the female body in his paintings represents a satirical critique of the sexualized consumer world, or simply glorifies it.