(After) Wesselmann

Great American Nude # 3



Wesselmann, Tom


Great American Nude # 3, Retrospective 1959-1993 Poster, Paleis voor Kunsten Brussels, 1993


Original Offset Lithograph with hand colouring, published in an edition thought to be 200 approx.


Heavy ‘poster’ wove 84 x 59.5 cm (sheet)


Excellent considering this is essentially advertising for the exhibition

Realisation / Publication:

published by the Paleis voor Kunsten, Brussels, 1993


Private dealer, Paris, France, 2018


Contact for price

In this offset lithograph for the exhibition retrospective, Wesselmann’s Great American Nude was in her infancy. Chosen to promote the Retrospective at the Paleis voor Kunsten in Brussels, this Nude is the third of the hundred strong unclad beauties he produced over 10 years and one of his best. With firm reminders of collage, seen in the photographic likeness of the mouth and teeth, and early patriotic zeal, evident in the red white and blue of the roses and the flag depicted with a single star, Wesselmann had laid down the foundation for future Nudes to follow suite, certainly in terms of colour, layout and motif. The entire ground is absorbed in a symphony of colour: from the setting sun in the background, to the bulbous oranges, with a resplendent Nude foregrounded, slumped across the pictorial plane. In later versions, at least from 1966 to 1970, and seen in #90 and #97 also in this inventory, Wesselmann, explicit on the importance of sexuality and how this informed his work, had his wife Claire model for their manufacture. If this is Claire depicted in #3, then the furor such work inevitably caused: eyeless, nose-less and rendered helpless, save for her provocative smile and her power to satisfy, she is an object made for fornication. Yet surely matrimonial bonds make this critical view seem pointless?