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Wesselmann, Tom Biography


American painter, who, as one of the leading pop artists of the 1950s and 1960s, found his subject matter in popular culture and mass media. He is best known for the erotic imagery of his series, Great American Nude.

Born in Cincinnati, Ohio, Wesselmann studied at Hiram College in Hiram, Ohio and at the University of Cincinnati in 1954. In 1955, he enrolled in the Art Academy, Cincinnati, and in 1956, transferred to study art at New York City's Cooper Union. Wesselmann rejected the abstract expressionism of such New York artists as Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning.

In 1961 Wesselmann began painting his series, Great American Nude, in flat, artificial colors, with bold outlines similar to those painted by French artist Henri Matisse. Seductive yet depersonalized, the nudes have no features except for exaggerated lips, nipples, and genitals.

Tom Wesselmann’s famous paintings include:

  • Nude No.1
  • Great American Nude
  • Sunset Nude (Variation #2)
  • Sunset Nude with Pink and Yellow Tulips
  • Sunset Nude (Squared Off)
  • Sunset Nude with Matisse
  • Sunset Nude with Red Stockings
  • Sunset Nude with Portrait
  • Sunset Nude (Two Legs Up)

View Wesselmann, Tom paintings here.

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