Tom Wesselmann has all the elements necessary for a much bigger market: major works of size, scale and power plus a lots of easily recognizable minor works to bring in the punters. There are even some major market-making players who bought into Wesselmann some time ago.
Nevertheless, the pop artist’s market remains healthy but not huge. This Spring Mitchell-Innes and Nash will try to do something about it with a retrospective of the painter’s work.
In April, Mitchell-Innes & Nash in Chelsea will present the first survey of his paintings in New York since his death in 2004, a show including the 10-foot-by-8-foot “Great American Nude No. 53” (1964) as well as his little-known late abstractions composed from painted cut-aluminum scraps.
“Wesselmann is a little bit under the radar for no good reason, because he certainly was one of the real innovators in the whole movement,” said Lucy Mitchell-Innes, one of the gallery’s owners. The exhibition will show how he collaged billboard imagery and functional objects like neon lights, radios and fans into his paintings, and adapted laser technology to make three-dimensional steel-cut compositions beginning in the mid-1980s.
Tom Wesselmann Nudes, and the Collection of the ‘Baron of Botox’ (The New York Times)