Tom Wesselmann (1931 - 2004)
Still Life,1988; Ceramic multiple in colors; Mounted to the support (as issued); Signed Tom Wesselmann in the plate lower right; Numbered 186/299 on the Rosenthal plaque verso; Published by Rosenthal, Germany; Original woodbox with the title label (with tape and adhesive remains on wooden box); Size: Tile 13 1/4" x 14 3/4"; Overall with support 18 3/4" x 20"
Tom Wesselmann was one of the great Pop Art artists to emerge during the 1960's. He is most known for paintings, prints, collage, and sculpture whose subject matter focused on the female nude or the still life. The Great American Nude Series was started in 1961 and the next year Wesselmann was already involved in his still lifes. Regarding what objects to choose to include, Wesselmann stated, “Not just the differences between what they were, but the aura each had with it... A painted pack of cigarettes next to a painted apple wasn’t enough for me. They are both the same kind of thing. But if one is from a cigarette ad and the other a painted apple, they are two different realities and they trade on each other... This kind of relationship helps establish a momentum throughout the picture... At first glance, my pictures seem well behaved, as if – that is a still life, O.K. But these things have
such crazy give-and-take that I feel they get really very wild”.
This work by Tom Wesselmann, "Still Life," 1988 is wonderfully balanced composition. The focus of the work is a white bowl of brilliantly colored fruit, with a framed female portrait off to the left; both set on a blue table. To the right is a single red apple followed by a wonderful clear vase of pink flowers; the green leaves of which can be seen through the glass. Above and behind the objects on the table are a pair of identical blue and white tiles depicting leaves; an obvious reference to the fact that this particular work is a large porcelain tile. The construction of the work is not only perfectly composed for both form and color; but highlighted with the use of the line, masterfully executed by Wesselmann's enormous technical skill. His draftsmanship can not be ignored, and this "Still Life" is a wonderful example Wesselmann at his best!
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