Tom Wesselmann


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(b Cincinnati, Oh., 23 Feb. 1931; d New York, 17 Dec. 2004).

American painter, one of the best-known exponents of Pop art. He often incorporated elements of collage or assemblage in his work, using household objects such as television sets and sometimes including sound effects. Typically his subjects are aggressively sexual and he is best known for his long-running series Great American Nude (began 1961), in which the nude becomes a depersonalized sex symbol set in a realistically depicted commonplace environment. He emphasized the woman's nipples, mouth, and genitals, with the rest of the body depicted in flat, unmodulated colour. In other works he isolated parts of the body still further, as in his Smoker series, in which the mouth—often depicted on a huge scale—becomes a provocatively erotic symbol. In the 1980s he began making massive ‘drawings’ cut from sheets of aluminium or steel. He also made prints in a variety of techniques.

Subjects: Art.

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