Artist: Tom Wesselmann
Title: Monica Reclining on Back, Knees Up
Medium: Lithograph and Linocut in colors
Size: 39⅜ h × 55¼ w in (100 × 140 cm)
Notes: Signed and numbered to lower right ‘Wesselmann 25/100’. This work is number 25 from the edition of 100 published by Atelier Trestle Editeur Ltd., New York. The Artwork is in Very Good Condition. Gallery COA Included.
Tom Wesselmann, alongside iconic artists like Roy Lichtenstein and Andy Warhol, stands tall as a prominent figure in the realm of New York Pop art. Departing from the tenets of Abstract Expressionism, Wesselmann forged his distinctive path through the art world, crafting audacious paintings and innovative sculptures. His creations, ranging from cut-metal pieces to intricate assemblages, skillfully riff on the nuances of pop culture and art history.
Central to Wesselmann's artistic vision were women, a perennial wellspring of inspiration. His renowned series, "Great American Nude" (1961–73), pulsates with the unbridled vitality of American advertising. Within this series, flat and enigmatic female figures, devoid of facial features, come to life amidst a backdrop adorned with stars and stripes. This bold imagery captures the essence of Wesselmann's artistic ethos.
Wesselmann's creative journey began with humble origins, where he honed his skills by selling cartoons to magazines, newspapers, and advertising agencies. This early experience served as a stepping stone, propelling him toward a flourishing career as a fine artist. His educational foundation at Cooper Union and the Art Academy of Cincinnati provided him with the tools to carve out his unique niche in the art world.
Today, Wesselmann's legacy resonates within the esteemed collections of renowned institutions such as the Art Institute of Chicago, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, and the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, among others. His artworks, sought after by collectors and art enthusiasts alike, frequently command seven-figure prices at auctions, a testament to the enduring appeal and significance of his creative output. Wesselmann's contributions to the vibrant tapestry of Pop art continue to captivate audiences, cementing his place as a revered master of the genre.
The Model: Monica Serra, is one of Wesselmann's favorite and most widely used models since the early 1980s. She had a close working relationship and friendship with Wesselmann, working first as his studio assistant and later his studio manager.