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Tom Wesselmann (1931-2004)
Tom Wesselmann (1931-2004)

Country Still Life with Yellow Curtain

Details
Tom Wesselmann (1931-2004)
Country Still Life with Yellow Curtain
signed twice, dated twice and titled 'TOM WESSELMANN 1995 COUNTRY STILL LIFE WITH YELLOW CURTAIN Wesselmann 95' (on the reverse)
alkyd oil on cut-out steel
55 x 73 1/2 in. (139.7 x 186.6 cm.)
Executed in 1995.
Provenance
Acquired directly from the artist by the present owner
Sale Room Notice
Please note that the correct provenance is "acquired directly from the artist by the present owner".

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Lot Essay


Although associated with Pop Art, Tom Wesselmann felt his real peers were the Modern painters of the 20th century, including Picasso, Juan Gris and especially Matisse. Similar to those modern masters, throughout his career, Wesselmann's two most prolific subjects were the female nude and the still-life. Although his subjects stayed the same, he relentlessly experimented with them, re-invigorating a staid genre by using unorthodox media and executing them in a contemporary way that is always unmistakably his own. His innovations in still-life began in the early 1960's, when he incorporated actual labels onto a painted surface, creating a surface tension and jarring spatial relationships between objects, such as in Still Life #30 at the Museum of Modern Art, New York. Wesselmann's most radical re-invention of the genre is in his steel cut drawings such as Country Still Life in which he creates drawings in space which use the wall as the ground for the composition. Just as in his early work, he is able to use flat elements that paradoxically create a surprisingly convincing illusion of depth. In Country Still Life Wesselmann gives us a gloriously colored tableaux, using a minimum of line and shape to create an abundant and spatially complex table with objects, in front of a draped window with a tree in the distance. One of the largest and most ambitious cut-outs ever executed by the artist, it compares favorably to his breakthrough works of the early 1960's, as well as the still-life paintings of his most-revered artist, Matisse.

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