Tom Wesselmann - 20th Century & Contemporary Art Day Sale London Thursday, February 13, 2020 | Phillips

Create your first list.

Select an existing list or create a new list to share and manage lots you follow.

  • Video

    Tom Wesselman, 'Bedroom Face with Green Wallpaper (Variation)', Lot 187

    20th Century & Contemporary Art Day Sale, 14 February

  • Provenance

    Sidney Janis Gallery, New York
    Private Collection (acquired from the above in 1985)
    Waddington Galleries, London
    Acquired from the above by the present owner

  • Exhibited

    New York, Sidney Janis Gallery, New Work by Tom Wesselmann, 16 November - 14 December 1985, no. 17, p. 4 (illustrated)

  • Catalogue Essay

    ‘My original idea, that began the cut-outs, was to preserve the process and immediacy of my drawings from life, complete with the false lines and errors, and realise them in steel. It was as though the lines had just been miraculously drawn in steel. At the same time, I pursued another idea – to make tiny, very fast doodles, which I would then enlarge in cut-out metal, preserving the feel and spontaneity of the tiny sketch…' - Tom Wesselmann

    Executed in 1988, Bedroom Face with Two Flowers presents the partial visage of a reclining woman in mid expression. Distinct outlines come into focus as the laser cut aluminium create a space enveloping her with two flowers, a pillow and a lamp. This work pertains to Wesselman’s Bedroom Paintings – a series celebrating the maturity of his artistic style, influenced by his history of being a cartoonist in the 1950s. Formally trained in Abstract Expressionism, he rejected this method in favour of simple depiction of everyday objects and advertising ephemera. The women portrayed in Wesselmann’s works often exude euphoria and an impression of bliss. He notes, “The process is largely sensual, a question of feelings and sensation… I arrange and rearrange until the elements lock into place.” (Tom Wesselmann quote in Tom Wesselmann, exh. cat., Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Montreal, 2012, p. 39)

  • 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.

    View More Works

Property from a Distinguished Private Collection, Florida


Bedroom Face with Green Wallpaper (Variation)

signed, titled and dated 'BEDROOM FACE WITH GREEN WALLPAPER (VARIATION) 1983-85 Wesselmann ©' on the reverse
Japan flat oil paint on laser-cut aluminium
147.5 x 169.5 cm (58 1/8 x 66 3/4 in.)
Executed in 1983-1985.

£150,000 - 200,000 

Sold for £237,500

Contact Specialist

Tamila Kerimova
Specialist, Head of Day Sale, Director, 20th Century & Contemporary Art

44 20 7318 4065

20th Century & Contemporary Art Day Sale

London Auction 14 February 2020