Art: Beyond Pop Art: A Tom Wesselmann Retrospective at the Cincinnati Art Museum

As the long-awaited Beyond Pop Art: A Tom Wesselmann Retrospective prepares to open Friday at Cincinnati Art Museum, there is much to discuss about this native son’s controversial career as one of the

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click to enlarge Wesselmann’s “Still Life No. 60” was reproduced as an ArtWorks mural at Eighth and Main streets downtown.
Wesselmann’s “Still Life No. 60” was reproduced as an ArtWorks mural at Eighth and Main streets downtown.

The long-awaited Beyond Pop Art: A Tom Wesselmann Retrospective discusses this native son’s controversial career as one of the original Pop artists. 


“Still Life No. 60,” from 1973 is big — almost 30 feet long and 10 feet high — and somewhat epic in its painted depiction of objects likely to be found on a woman’s bedside table (lipstick, sunglasses, matches, nail polish, a ring and more). It’s been reproduced as one of ArtWorks’ Cincinnati Masters murals; it’s downtown at Eighth and Main streets and will be dedicated Wednesday.

Beyond Pop Art has so far traveled to Montreal and Richmond, Va., where it was organized by the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts with the estate’s assistance, then Denver and now here, where the Cincinnati Art Museum has organized it. It contains about 75 objects total, from major works like “Still Life No. 60” to sketches and correspondence. This is the most important painting show the museum has had in years, for its scope and its artist’s reputation, as well as for the way the artist fought to stretch the definition of painting.

Beyond Pop Art: A Tom Wesselmann Retrospective will be up through Jan. 18, 2015 at the Cincinnati Art Museum. More info: cincinnatiartmuseum.org.

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