*1931 in Cincinnati, USA
†2004 in New York City, USA
Tom Wesselmann (February 23, 1931 – December 17, 2004) was a leading American Pop artist best known for his exciting collages, sculptures, and screenprints which stylized the female figure. He pushed the boundaries of painting and sculpture to explore the nature of advertising, consumption, and the female nude in art history. Envisioning pursuing a career in cartooning, Wesselmann took drawing courses at the Art Academy of Cincinnati. After graduation he moved to New York City, where he was accepted to Cooper Union in 1956 to train alongside the other rising stars of the moment. He rejected the abstract expressionism of his peers in favor of the mimetic representations of quotidian motifs. The 1962 group exhibition “New Realists” at the Sidney Janis Gallery initiated his international career. In the same year Wesselmann started to work on his first assemblages “Still Life.” He began a series of “Bathtub Collages” thereafter, and in 1964 started working on further explorations in painting series such as “Bedroom Paintings”, “Seascapes” and “Smokers”, which he pursued until the early 1980s. Wesselmann featured in important international exhibitions during his lifetime, such as the São Paulo Biennale (1967), documenta 4 and 6 (1968 and 1977), Venice Biennale (1972), and the group show “American Pop Art” at the Whitney Museum in New York (1974). Wesselmann’s work is included in numerous public collections worldwide such as at the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; and the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis.