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Tom Wesselmann
"Beautiful Kate #14" by Tom Wesselmann, Graphite and liquitex on ragboard, 1982




An original acrylic (liquitex) and graphite nude figure work on paper by Tom Wesselmann. The piece is a classic example of Wesselmann's linear figurative work, featuring bright Pop-esque shades of pink, yellow, red, and blue. Wesselmann loved to repeatedly paint certain models and play around with color combinations - alternating the stockings, hair, skin color, choker, lips, and so forth. For the "Beautiful Kate" series, he did 47 total color variations over the course of about a decade, this one being #14 - an original and unique work from the beginning of the series. The piece is in very good condition, and comes matted and framed behind glass. It is signed, dated, and partially titled by the artist. Tom Wesselmann (American, 1931 - 2004) Beautiful Kate #14 (Variable), 1982 Graphite and thinned liquitex on ragboard 3 ⅝ x 8 ¾ in. 9 ¾ x 14 ¾ in. framed Signed, dated, and partially titled "#14 Wesselmann '82" on recto, lower left. Provenance: Private collection (received as a gift from the artist) Sotheby’s New York Contemporary Curated Sale, September 27, 2017, lot 51 Private collection, Wyoming Tom Wesselmann was born in 1931 in Cincinnati, Ohio. In 1953, Wesselmann took temporary leave from college to serve in the U.S. military, at which time he began drawing cartoons. By the end of his college career he decided to pursue a career as a cartoonist, studying at both the Art Academy of Cincinnati and the Cooper Union in New York, before shifting his focus to fine art. During the 1960s, Wesselmann defied the tide of Abstract Expressionism in favor of classical representational pieces, including nudes, still life, and landscape. He quickly incorporated the styles and imagery of Pop Art, rendering flat, linear figures in vibrant color palettes. He later experimented with shaped canvases and three dimensional metal works, allowing him to translate his drawings into new media and 3D forms. Wesselmann passed away in 2004, leaving a body of work renowned across the art world for its vibrance and elegance. His nudes and portraits have become iconic, and his work is held in the collections of The Museum of Modem Art, the Smithsonian Museum of American Art, and the Whitney Museum of American Art, among others.


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