2
Jan 05

Tom Wesselman

The Brown WedgePost a comment • 270 views

Tom Wesselman
1931-2004

His work lacks the cool arrogance of a Warhol or the theoretical complexities of johns at his best; but he has something else–he has a formalism, and a sense of space that amazes–his layers and levels are the first new way of doing perspective in a very long time, his actual use of collaged commercial products make his still lives the best reflection of how people lived in America at the end of the twentieth century and his great American nudes were the playboy olympias that real men wanted to fuck (complete with merkins made of real live hair)

He wasn’t respected really, he was considered a minor painter, a painter of inconsequential literalism dealing with forms that were basically moribund–when we have Robert resembled talk about Warhol as Sargent and Dave Hickey about how licensed redeemed comics into something more serious, having Wesselman refuse the politics of redemption and of the court, and to work in the basements–reducing desire of all appetites to there most basic aesthetic, reminds one of the Dutch masters of memento mori, but with a wry and sly wink.

The market had become more respectful of him, but with his recent death, will the museums and critics?

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