Tom Wesselmann’s massive late nudes are the subject of a show at Almine Rech in London opening this week. Some of these ‘joyous’ works are massive—10-ft wide or 10-ft high—and still have the capacity to “confound or shock [his] most ardent followers,” in the words of Susan Davidson who wrote an essay on the effect of the works of Wesselmann’s last decade.
The sheer size of much of Wesselmann’s late works surely worked against them before the recent taste for over-sized art. These works from the estate—which is jointly represented by Almine Rech and Gagosian Gallery—include this Sunset Nude, Floral Blanket from 2003, above, and Sunset Nude with Matisse Odalisque from the same year. The show also features a 7-ft painted aluminum cut out Three Step.
Here’s Almine Rech’s press release for the show:
Almine Rech London is pleased to present a solo exhibition by Tom Wesselmann, opening January 30th and continuing until March 23, 2019. The exhibition will consist of rarely shown works from the artist’s final years. This presentation will include three large Sunset Nude paintings, alongside abstract cut-out steel works, seen together publicly for the first time, and Exhibition Detail, a monumental assemblage exemplary of Wesselmann’s ability to blur the lines between abstraction and figuration, allowing for their harmonious coexistence. A selection of archival material, comprised of preparatory drawings, three-dimensional working maquettes, documentary photographs and the artist’s sketchbooks will also be on view.
The following text by Susan Davidson, excerpted from her essay Opposites Attract: The Parallel Course of Tom Wesselmann’s Last Decade (2018), elaborates upon the themes and works included in the exhibition: