Steel Drawings & Prints

Tom Wesselmann (1931–2004) is recognized as a leading figure in the Pop Art movement that came to prominence in the 1960s. Throughout his long career, he infused the classical subjects of the figure, the still life and the landscape with his own graphic line quality and vibrant sense of color.

Carl Solway Gallery features an intimate exhibition of laser-cut steel drawings of the nude figure and a small selection of figurative and still life prints. The steel drawings represent one of Wesselmann's best-known technical innovations. In 1983, Wesselmann sought a way to draw in steel. He envisioned the illusion of lifting the lines from his drawings and placing them directly on the wall. Once installed, the pieces appear to be drawn on the wall. His idea preceded the available technology for mechanically laser-cutting metal with the accuracy Wesselmann needed. He invested more than a year in the development of a system that could accomplish this. Wesselmann created a number of steel drawings in the 1980s and 1990s. Laser-cut paper and metal are materials now utilized by countless artists.

The graphic qualities of printmaking also appealed to Wesselmann and he created, etchings, lithographs and screenprints. In addition to paper, he printed on other materials including plastics.

The exhibition at Carl Solway Gallery is concurrent with Beyond Pop Art: A Tom Wesselmann Retrospective on view at the Cincinnati Art Museum from October 31, 2014–January 18, 2015. Tom Wesselmann attended the Art Academy of Cincinnati before moving to New York City to study at Cooper Union.

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Beautiful Kate (Variable Edition) #51, 1981, Pencil and thinned Liquitex on ragboard, Stencil-drawn, hand-painted edition of 47 unique works, 3.75 x 9 inches, Framed: 16.25 x 22 inches, Art © Estate of Tom Wesselmann/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY New Bedroom Blonde Doodle, 1991, From Painted Drawings, Screenprint in 13 colors on Arches 88 paper, Edition of 100, 19/100, Paper size: 30 x 35 inches, Art © Estate of Tom Wesselmann/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY Still Life with Lilies and Mixed Fruit, 1997, Screenprint in 26 colors on Coventry Rag 375gsm white Vellum, Edition of 100, 93/100, Paper size: 31.5 x 38 inches, Art © Estate of Tom Wesselmann/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY