Tom Wesselmann DRAWS

April 5-July 30, 2011

Tom Wesselmann, Study for Still Life #46, 1964.
Pencil and liquitex on paper. 42 x 53 inchesArt (c) Estate
of Tom Wesselmann/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY

In the 1960s, Tom Wesselmann was one of the key figures in the Pop art movement along with Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, James Rosenquist and Robert Indiana. He was a brilliant colorist, superior draftsman and innovator of new techniques who devoted his life to his art and family. Tom Wesselmann DRAWS is the most comprehensive exhibition of drawings by the artist that has ever been assembled. Many of the 60 pieces on view had never been seen outside the artist's studio in New York.

The exhibition, which covered drawings from his entire career spanning 1959-2004, was originally curated in 2003 by Wesselmann and his wife Claire and encouraged by Emilio Steinberger of the Haunch of Venison Gallery in New York City. Wesselmann passed away in 2004 at the age of 73 and the show was put on hold. Five years later, Claire felt ready to revisit the project. "Working in collaboration with the Kreeger on the installation of the exhibition, his wife Claire will apply her own aesthetic sensibilities to capture the essence of her husband's oeuvre," stated Judy A. Greenberg, Director of The Kreeger Museum. As stated by Aimee Walleston in the December 2009 issue of Art in America, "Claire Wesselmann is as alive as in Wesselmann's drawings, with a keen intellect and a uniquely personal take on her husband's practice."

“Some supporters have urged me to put together a drawing show because I have never had a major drawing show. The project interests me from another point of view in that I have made drawings in ways more adventurous than what many envision...The scope of the show will be to present a well edited selection of the best drawings available covering the full range of my varied production. I don't view the show as delineated by decades in any way, but as a continuity of drawings as they occurred...A show that will enlarge the common perception of what a drawing is to a surprising and rewarding degree.”Tom Wesselmann, New York City, 2003
The exhibition opened at Haunch of Venison in November 2009 and traveled to the Museum of Art Fort Lauderdale, Nova Southeastern University in October 2010. The Kreeger Museum completed the run of the show. The catalogue, Tom Wesselmann Draws, Haunch of Venison, New York, 2009 accompanies the exhibition. Tom Wesselmann: His Voice and Vision by John Wilmerding, Rizzoli, 2008 will also be available.

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