Organized chronologically, the exhibition follows the rational and methodical development of Tom Wesselmann's work, series by series, from the earliest collages to the abstractions and Sunset Nudes of the late period, covering masterworks of the Pop era and the drawings and maquettes on which his work is based. From one series to the next, Wesselmann tackles a variety of formal concerns that this exhibition has divided into four main sections: Genre, Form, Line and Composition.
Tom Wesselmann (1931-2004) was also a devoted fan of country music and a prolific songwriter in that musical genre. some of Tom Wesselmann's musical works are also showcased in the exhibition.
...in 1987, he [Tom Wesselmann] set up a little makeshift recording studio. He brought in an engineer who was also a musician, and every Friday afternoon we would record, with Tom producing. One of the songs that resulted from them and gained some notoriety was ‘I Love Doing Texas With You,’ with Kevin Trainor doing the vocal. It found its way as incidental music into the soundtrack of the Ang Lee film Brokeback Mountain. There was something very special about Tom’s imagination. Country music is full of bars and prison and downtrodden losers, and he loved this aspect of it, even though – or maybe because – that was so far removed from his actual life. He was a very steady person, a family man who neither drank nor smoked. The ability to create his own world was key to his art and music, and although they are separate, they share a consistent genuine Americanness.”2
(Excerpt from “M” – May 2012)
2. Monica Serra, “Tom Wesselmann: Country,” in Wesselmann, exhib. cat. (MMFA/DelMonico Books/Prestel, 2012), pp. 176-178.
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