Must See Art: Tom Wesselmann at Gagosian Beverly Hills

‘Still Life #29,’ 1963, Oil and printed paper collaged on canvas, 9′ x 12′, ©Estate of Tom Wesselmann/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY

 

This Thursday, Gagosian Beverly Hills will be launching a solo exhibition of rare works by Pop Art notable Tom Wesselmann. Wesselmann: 1963-1983 will feature seven pieces created by the artist, none of which have ever been shown on the West Coast. On view until August, the exhibition will showcase the commercial billboards Wesselmann began painting in 1962.

 

‘Still Life #61,’ 1976, Oil on shaped canvas in 4 parts, 8’8.5″ x 32’7″ x 6’7″, ©Estate of Tom Wesselmann/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY

 

Born in Cincinnati in 1931, Wesselmann was an influential figure in the Pop Art world, with his massive paintings that recontextualized images from popular culture, like the Volkswagen Beetle seen in ‘Still Life #29.’

“I used what was around me, so my culture was what I used,” he once said about his work.

Part of ‘The Standing Still Lifes’ series, the seven works in Wesselmann: 1963-1983 were a highlight in the artist’s long career. Comprised of multiple canvases shaped like the objects they depict and mounted on both the wall and the ground, the pieces are three-dimensional scenescapes that pull you into their world. Known primarily for his work that showcases the female figure, these paintings incorporate everyday objects in exaggerated sizes, exploring sexuality and surrealism in an emotional and experimental way.

 

‘Still Life with Blue Jar and Smoking Cigarette,’ 1981, Oil on shaped canvas in 4 parts, 9′ x 18’5″ x 5’6″, ©Estate of Tom Wesselmann/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY

 

“Wesselmann is an artist well known for his forthright and original standpoint on sexuality,” explains Jason Ysenburg, Director at Gagosian, “but that is only a part of his story. In the ‘Still Lifes,’ ‘Standing Still Lifes’ and ‘Bedroom Paintings,’ we are offered a glimpse into an enchanted world where scale, content and the juxtaposition of materials and images is surprising and innovative,” he continues. “What transpires are a group of paintings where sexuality is often implied rather than overtly expressed.”

Since his death in 2004, Wesselmann’s work has become only more sought after, and has been included in multiple exhibitions at The Whitney and MoMA. This latest exhibition follows another recent showcase, Tom Wesselmann: Standing Still Lifes at Gagosian in New York.

 

Wesselmann: 1963-1983 is on view from July 12 to August 24 at Gagosian Beverly Hills.

 

Photos: ‘Still Life #29’ by Jeffrey Sturges; ‘Still Life #61’ & ‘Still Life with Blue Jar and Smoking Cigarette’ by Rob McKeever; all courtesy the Estate of Tom Wesselmann and Gagosian

10 Must-See Artists at Frieze New York 2018

Kapwani Kiwanga, ‘Pink-Blue,’ 2017, photo courtesy of Frieze

 

It’s the first week of May which, of course, means The Met Gala. But it also means the New York edition of the annual Frieze art fair. Opening tomorrow, the high-profile art schmooze will bring together work from over 1,000 established and emerging talents, on view through May 6.

And because we at BlackBook are always here to tell you what to do, we’ve put together a list of the 10 must-see artists at Frieze New York 2018.

 

Imran Qureshi at Nature Morte

 

‘This Leprous Brightness,’ 2011, photo courtesy of Nature Morte
Pakistani artist Imran Qureshi employs various mediums, including painting, installation art and video, to explore the political climate of the Middle East. Juxtaposing violent splatters with precise strokes, he invokes a sort of controlled chaos that reflects his feelings towards his country’s current state.

 

Isa Genzken at Hauser & Wirth

 

‘Untitled,’ 2012, photo courtesy of Hauser & Wirth
Sculptor and installation artist Isa Genzken has worked for over 40 years. Using a variety of materials, including wood, concrete and textiles, the Berlin-based artist explores consumerism and the relationships between high and low brow.

 

Ana Mazzei at Galeria Jaqueline Martins

 

‘Garden,’ 2017, photo courtesy of Galeria Jaqueline Martins
Brazilian artist Ana Mazzei creates minimalist sculpture installations that explore perception and the limits of reality. Often working with painted linen, the 38-year-old builds subtle yet powerful scenescapes inspired by philosophers Paulo Freire and Augusto Boal.

 

Jordan Nassar at Anat Ebgi

 

‘The sun like you is covered with flowers,’ 2017, photo courtesy of the artist
New York artist Jordan Nassar creates hand-embroidered pieces inspired by traditional Palestinian works. Using bold colors and a highly skilled technical practice, he explores the intersections of identity, technology, language and craft.

 

Jordan Wolfson at David Zwirner

 

Still from ‘Riverboat Song,’ 2017-18, photo courtesy of David Zwirner
Multimedia artist Jordan Wolfson uses photography, film, installation and sculpture to create cutting social commentary on violence and entertainment. With his own animated characters, the New York City-born Wolfson creates subversive narrative pieces that join appropriated images and found objects with his original work.

 

Farhad Moshiri at The Third Line

 

‘Top of the World,’ 2011, photo courtesy of The Third Line
Artist Farhad Moshiri uses Pop Art paintings to explore the relationship between his Iranian heritage and the customs he adopted growing up in a Western culture. Using vivid colors and unorthodox materials (like the plastic pearls in the work above), he juxtaposes traditional techniques with images of popular culture.

 

Artur Lescher at Nara Roesler

 

‘Inabsência,’ 2012, photo courtesy of Nara Roesler
Sculptor Artur Lescher creates large-scale pieces that are both artfully designed and architecturally sound. Through a wide range of materials, the Brazilian artist crafts modern masterpieces that challenge perception and form.

 

Judith Bernstein at Paul Kasmin

 

‘Money Shot – Green,’ 2016, photo courtesy of Paul Kasmin
Artist Judith Bernstein has had an extensive career drawing dicks. Mixing pop art with phalluses, the New York-based painter creates colorful canvases that are both overtly political and unapologetically feminist.

 

Rosemary Laing at Galerie Lelong

 

‘Rose of Australia,’ 2017, photo courtesy of Galerie Lelong & Co., New York
Australian photographer Rosemary Laing creates conceptual and surrealist images that capture her subjects without digital enhancement. Photographing staged scenes, the photographer often explores the political, social and cultural trends in her native Australia.

 

Kapwani Kiwanga curated by Adrienne Edwards for the Frieze Artist Award

 

‘The Sun Never Sets,’ 2017, courtesy of Frieze
The winner of this year’s Frieze Artist Award, Kapwani Kiwanga is a Canadian installation artist whose work often examines colonialism and its impact on contemporary identity. At this year’s fair, she will debut an open-air installation that “explores freedom of movement and architectures of exclusion,” titled ‘Shady.’

 

So, if you don’t already have your tickets, you can buy them here.

 

10 Artists You Have To See At This Year’s Armory Show

Nam June Paik, ‘Megatron Matrix’, photo courtesy of Ryan Somma

 

The Armory is basically the Coachella of the art world – well, sans the ecstasy and the floral headbands. But anyone who’s anyone (or has ever been at some point in time) will gather at Piers 92 and 94 in Manhattan to browse New York’s largest art fair and see work from both emerging and legendary global artists.

Since that can be a bit overwhelming, we’ve done you a solid and put together a list of 10 artists you won’t want to miss at this year’s show. Trust us.

 

Douglas Coupland at Daniel Faria

 

‘Tsunami Chest,’ 2017, photo courtesy of Daniel Faria Gallery

 

Postmodern artist and fiction author Douglas Coupland is known for subverting pop culture and military imagery, in part due to his time growing up in a military family throughout the Cold War. Fascinated by Andy Warhol and the whole Pop Art movement, Coupland explores the darker side of popular culture through installation and sculpture.

Gilbert & George at Ropac

 

‘Beardache,’ 2016, photo courtesy of the artist

 

Collaborative art duo Gilbert & George are known for their highly formalized performance art practice, as well as their, um, not so formal photography work. Their ongoing photo series, referred to as The Pictures, features large scale back-lit images of everything from skinheads to semen, and a whole lot of beards.

 

Kyle Meyer at Yossi Milo

 

From ‘Interwoven,’ 2017, photo courtesy of the artist

 

Kyle Meyer is a photographer, sculptor and mixed media artist who uses digital photography and a variety of handmade techniques, such as weaving, to explore connectivity in the digital age. For his series, Interwoven, Meyer hand-wove over photographs to celebrate flamboyance, homosexuality and femme-identifying men in a hyper-masculine culture.

 

Cammie Staros at Shulamit Nazarian

 

‘All Quiver and Shake,’ 2017, photo courtesy of the artist

 

Sculptor Camme Staros creates handmade objects that juxtapose modernism with antiquity and craft. Joining traditional materials like clay and ceramics with modern details like neon and steel, Staros examines the “semiotic systems” that have been “created and reinforced throughout art history.”

 

Etel Adnan at Gallery Continua

 

‘Five Senses for One Death,’ 1969, photo courtesy of the artist

 

Lebanese-American poet, writer and painter Etel Adnan crafts abstract oil paintings and landscapes inspired by Japanese leporellos that extend into space “like free-hand drawings.” In 2014, Adnan’s work was also included in the Whitney Biennial.

 

Nam June Paik at Gagosian

 

‘Lion,’ 2005, photo courtesy of Gagosian

 

Probably the most exciting artist on this list (at least for us), Nam June Paik is credited with being the founder of video art. Born in Seoul, South Korea, Paik began his career as a musician as part of the Fluxus movement in 1960. After moving to New York in 1964, he began experimenting with film, combining his musical works with video sculptures constructed of wire and metal. Before his death in 2006, Paik was known as an early adopter of technology, including his famous robots built of out multiple computers. In fact, he’s also credited with using the term “electronic super highway” as early as 1974. Damn.

 

Alicja Kwade at i8 Gallery

 

‘Computer (Power Mac),’ 2017, photo courtesy of i8 Gallery

 

Polish artist Alicja Kwade works in sculpture, installation, photography and film. Throughout all of her work, however, she likes to play with value systems, transforming useless materials like wood or glass into high value pieces of art.

 

Jinshi Zhu at Pearl Lam

 

‘A Tiger Shaped Tally,’ 2016, photo courtesy of Pearl Lam Gallery

 

Painter Jinshi Zhu creates abstract oil paintings focused on texture, through endless layers of color and paint. Inspired by the German Expressionist movement and their unconventional techniques, Zhu often creates these layers using a spatula or shovel.

 

The Haas Brothers at R & Company

 

‘Socrata Floor Lamps and Furries’, photo courtesy of the artists

 

Twins Nikolai and Simon Haas have worked in pretty much every medium, from music and film to installation and visual art. Now focused mostly on their sculpture and installation work, The Haas Brothers highlight themes including sexuality, science fiction, psychedelia and politics.

Jeffrey Gibson at Roberts Projects

 

‘Power Power Power,’ 2017, photo courtesy of Roberts Projects

 

Artist Jeffrey Gibson relates his experience as a Native American growing up in a Western culture into large scale paintings and woven sculpture. Also inspired by dance and movement, from pow-wows to nightclubs and the work of Leigh Bowery, Gibson examines nostalgia, heritage and pre-colonized Native American life.

 

Oh, and if looking at all this great art makes you hungry, check out our guide to The Armory’s pop-up restaurants.