On display: “Tom Wesselmann Draws”

European Renaissance painters, at least on canvas, liked their naked women coy and sumptuous. If those artists were transported in time to the Tom Wesselmann exhibition at the Museum of Art|Fort Lauderdale, would they croak at the violently erotic pop art nudes? Or would they kick themselves and think: “Why didn’t I paint nipples like that?” Wesselmann, a master of pop art and an equal of Warhol and Lich-tenstein, made his name in the early 1960s with a series he called “The Great American Nude.” His female models were rendered often without facial features — just lips, vaginas, and perky, pepperoni-slice nipples. MoA’s exhibition is historic and singular, encompassing over a hundred of his drawings — his nudes, his vivid still-lifes of commodities, and much more — dating from 1959 to his death in 2004. When he died, in fact, Wesselmann was in the midst of preparing this very collection. The exhibition is especially dramatic for incorporating his works of aluminum, steel, fabric, and plastic; some are being seen outside his Greenwich Village studio for the first time.
Tuesdays-Sundays. Starts: Nov. 19. Continues through Feb. 27, 2010

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