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Almine Rech

Tom Wesselmann After Matisse

Jun 11 — Jul 30, 2022 | Paris, Turenne

Opening on June 11th, from 11 am to 8 pm. Inquire about the exhibition: The gallery is open from 11 am until 7 pm.

Almine Rech Paris is pleased to present Tom Wesselmann's fourth solo exhibition with the gallery, on view from June 11 to July 30, 2022.

Tom Wesselmann (1931-2004) forged his distinctive, figurative fusion of color and line through a longtime engagement with Matisse. Wesselmann first learned about the French master while studying at Cooper Union (1956–59), where his teacher Nicholas Marsicano encouraged him “to find your own way. . . You can’t do what Matisse did.”
Wesselmann’s goal to bypass de Kooning and find his own direction was satisfied by his adaptations of the controlled, precise contours; bold, flat colors; and sensual imagery popularized by Matisse. The exhibition of Matisse’s cut-outs in 1961 at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, may have reaffirmed his interest in Matisse as a precedent for exploring variations of a subject in serial form.

Wesselmann repeatedly referenced Matisse in the Great American Nude series, launched in 1961 – eventually creating one hundred works, spanning almost ten years. In the 1980s Wesselmann launched a series of laser-cut, painted metal drawings, several of which were based on one of his favorite models, Monica Serra. Wesselmann also created a series of cut-out aluminum still lifes adapting Matisse’s motifs in the 80s, amplifying this theme in the 1990s in such homages to Matisse and his contemporaries as Still Life with Matisse and Johns (3D)of 1993. Wesselmann saw the landmark 1992 Matisse retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art which was an “overwhelming” experience for him.

— Gail Stavitsky, author and Chief Curator, Montclair Art Museum

Press release

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Selected artworks

  • Tom Wesselmann,                                      Man Ray at the Dance, 2004

    Tom Wesselmann Man Ray at the Dance, 2004

    Oil on canvas
    248.9 x 188 cm
    98 x 74 in

  • Tom Wesselmann,                                      Monica Sleeping with Matisse, 1988

    Tom Wesselmann Monica Sleeping with Matisse, 1988

    Enamel on cut-out steel
    118.1 x 218.4 cm
    46 1/2 x 86 in

  • Tom Wesselmann,                                      Still Life with Two Matisses (Portrait), 1990/1992

    Tom Wesselmann Still Life with Two Matisses (Portrait), 1990/1992

    Alkyd oil on cut-out aluminum
    170.2 x 221 cm
    67 x 87 in

  • Tom Wesselmann,                                      After Matisse, 1959

    Tom Wesselmann After Matisse, 1959

    Pastel, collage and staples on composition board
    81.3 x 61 cm
    32 x 24 in

  • Tom Wesselmann,                                      Blue Nude # 15, 2000

    Tom Wesselmann Blue Nude # 15, 2000

    Oil on cut-out aluminium
    139.7 x 124.5 cm
    55 x 49 in

Selected press