Living in New York City, even though it would seem ironic, you can get into a rut and life can become as dry as overcooked turkey. So to keep that from happening, I loosely plan to shake it up every so often with my friends when hanging out with them. Last weekend, I did that by swinging by the Gagosian Gallery on the west side of Chelsea to see the current exhibition of art by Tom Wesselmann.
Standing Still Lifes at the Gagosian Gallery
The exhibition is titled, Standing Still Lifes, it’s a collection of huge, vibrant 3-D sculptures and corresponding prints. The works were made from 1967-1981. Here’s an excerpt from Gagosian press release:
In all of my dimensional work I use the third dimension to intensify the two-dimensional experience. It becomes part of a vivid two-dimensional image. The third dimension, while actually existing, is only an illusion in terms of the painting, which remains by intent in a painting and not a sculptural context.
—Slim Stealingworth (a pseudonym for Tom Wesselmann)
Each large-scale work comprises multiple canvases, both hanging and standing, shaped according to the outline of the commonplace objects that they depict. Wesselmann’s spatial and pictorial innovation in the Standing Still Life paintings have precedents in his early work. His drawings of his wife and lifelong muse, Claire Selley—beginning in the 1950s when they met as students at Cooper Union—often took the form of hybrid collages that incorporated sketches and scraps of wallpaper and advertisements that he found in the New York City subway. Similarly, his early assemblage paintings, which included functioning objects and gadgets, present shifting images that advance and retreat depending on the viewer’s relative position, like stage sets that can be seen but not entered.
What I Thought Of The Exhibition
My friends at first were against my choice of diversion but when they saw what I had already seen all over in social media they got into it. It was even easier to convince them to go after eating at Misoya Ramen, a full belly makes people pliable, in case you weren’t aware. And the walk to the gallery was definitely more tolerable when you have something to walk off. But back to the art, I really enjoyed the pieces because they made us conjure up stories among each other about how the works came to be.
If you are in New York, the Gagosian Gallery is located at 555 West 24th street in Manhattan and open from Monday to Saturday from 10-6. The Tom Wesselmann exhibition is on view until February 24th. Don’t miss it!
What do the pieces make you think of? Have you been to a gallery lately? Have you seen the work of Tom Wesselmann before? What’s the last interesting exhibition you’ve gone to? Tell me everything in the comments, I can’t wait to read all about it. In the meantime, you can find me on Instagram, and Twitter.
Until our next rendezvous…