Tom Wesselmann - 20th Century & Contemporary Art Day Sale, Morning Session New York Tuesday, May 16, 2023 | Phillips
  • Provenance

    Jenny Wesselmann (gifted by the artist, her father, in 2002)
    Galerie Benden & Klimczak, Cologne
    Private Collection, Düsseldorf
    Sotheby's, London, October 15, 2007, lot 258
    Acquired at the above sale by the present owner

  • Artist Biography

    Tom Wesselmann

    American • 1931 - 2004

    As a former cartoonist and leading figure of the Pop Art movement, Tom Wesselmann spent many years of his life repurposing popular imagery to produce small to large-scale works that burst with color. Active at a time when artists were moving away from the realism of figurative painting and growing increasingly interested in abstraction, Wesselmann opted for an antithetical approach: He took elements of city life that were both sensual and practical and represented them in a way that mirrored Roy Lichtenstein and Andy Warhol's own methodologies.

    Wesselmann considered pop culture objects as exclusively visual elements and incorporated them in his works as pure containers of bold color. This color palette became the foundation for his now-iconic suggestive figurative canvases, often depicting reclining nudes or women's lips balancing a cigarette.

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Mouth Fragment

signed, titled and dated "Tom Wesselmann MOUTH FRAGMENT 1973" on the reverse
oil on cut out canvas laid down on card
6 3/4 x 8 1/8 in. (17.1 x 20.6 cm)
Executed in 1973.

Please note that this work will be included in the Tom Wesselmann Digital Corpus published by the Wildenstein Plattner Institute, and will be included in their forthcoming Tom Wesselmann Digital Catalogue Raisonné.

$100,000 - 150,000 

Sold for $101,600

Contact Specialist

Annie Dolan

Specialist, Head of Sale, Morning Session
+1 212 940 1288

20th Century & Contemporary Art Day Sale, Morning Session

New York Auction 16 May 2023