13 January, 2010

The Duchess Observes . . .

Tom Wesselmann
Master of the Great American Nude

Los Angeles Uber-Gallerist Honor Fraser (new show opening on January 16, everyone please be there) convened an absolutely fantastic exhibit of the works of Tom Wesselmann in November/December 2008. The Duchess of course knows that this was more than an entire year ago, but of all the shows seen over the last few years this was one of THE MOST DIVINE.

(Installation View at Honor Fraser Gallery, Image Via HonorFraser.com)

(Tom Wesselmann, Smoker Study, 1967 -- the Duchess's Absolute Personal Favorite)

Tom Wesselmann, born in Cincinnati, Ohio, was an American pop artist whose series Great American Nude riveted art audiences around the world. Vibrant and clear in representation, his works reflect American patriotism through their predominantly red, white and blue palettes as well as American archetypes through their imagery (cigarettes feature prominently, as well as soda bottles and other common objects (including but not limited to the female anatomy)). In his later years he was heavily influenced by Matisse, and the arc of his artistry reflects his growth from a more literal interpretation of the everyday to a more romantic one.

(Tom Wesselmann, Little Great American Nude 1967 -- Holding Pride of Place in the Duchess's boudoir, tucked neatly inside the frame of a floral still life.)

Tom Wesselmann's last major show immediately following his death in 2004 was of Sunset Nudes at the Robert Miller Gallery, which is now exhibiting "Objects of Life," a collaborative effort between Patti Smith and Stephen Sebring (now through February 6).

(Tom Wesselmann, Page of Mouths with Cigarettes, 1967 -- Don't you hate you missed it?)

The Duchess Observes, and Recommends . . .

Tom Wesselmann

and of course,

Honor Fraser Gallery
2265 S. La Cienega Boulevard
Los Angeles, California 90034
Tel. (310) 837-0191

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