Famous for his Great American Nude series, American painter Tom Wesselmann (1931 – 2004) is widely regarded as one of the leading figures in the vanguard of American Pop Art. Alongside his contemporaries Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, and James Rosenquist, he forged a new movement using the materials and images of everyday popular culture. However, unlike his two fellow Pop artists, Wesselman has never been the subject of a major retrospective exhibition in North America. The Pop Art and Beyond: Tom Wesselmann Exhibition, organized by the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, shows an artist who constantly reinvented himself long after the Pop Art movement had passed. He explored all kinds of techniques from plastic bas-relief to laser-cut steel drawings and multi-paneled shaped canvases. In his work, Wesselmann addressed the pressing issues of the art world of his time: the interpretation of the history of art; the status of the image; the relationship between art, industry and technology; and the American canon of beauty.
The exhibition has been critically acclaimed with Art Actuel writing: “Tom Wesselmann is a giant. Finally a superb exhibition that does him justice” and the Montreal Gazette talking of “Tom Wesselmann’s Pop Art: Powerful Crowded Canvases.” VMFA will be the only East Coast venue for this landmark exhibition.
This exhibition is organized by the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts with the collaboration of the Estate of Tom Wesselmann, New York.
Generously sponsored by the Sydney and Frances Lewis Endowment Fund.
The Banner Exhibition Program at VMFA is supported by the Julia Louise Reynolds Fund.
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