Tom Wesselmann was born on February 23, 1931 in Cincinnati, Ohio. He studied psychology at Hiram College and at the University of Cincinnati. It was throughout the 1950s that Wesselmann developed an interest in drawing. He entered Cooper Union in 1956 to study painting, and would gradually pursue painting as a career. In 1964, Wesselmann co-founded the Judson Gallery with painter Jim Dine, where they displayed paintings and collages inspired by abstract expressionists such as Willem de Koonig. Though initially inspired to become a painter by the works of de Koonig, Wesselmann eventually eschewed action painting, taking his art into a more static and controlled direction. His works are thus notable for their prominent display of nude figures interspersed with colorful geometric forms, and many critics have compared his works to those of Henri Matisse and Man Ray. Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, Wesselmann continued to expand his flattened forms and intense use of color, eventually moving on in the following decades into three-dimensional works. His skills as a printmaker are not to be overlooked, however. From the late 1980s on, Wesselmann produced several lithographs and screenprints containing his signature female forms, bold lines, and vivid colors. He died in 2004 in New York City.
Tom Wesselmann, Blonde Vivienne, 1998, Unsigned, Relief print on handmade paper, Edition 50, 40 1/2" x 40 1/2" Sheet Size