Tom Wesselmann

After Matisse

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.

Press release

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