Gary Silverlake with Tom Wesselmann

Wesselmann’s inquiries into the material qualities of painting evolved, and in 1972 he exhibited a Standing Still Life for the first time at the Sidney Janis Gallery in New York, along with a selection of smaller works from his Bedroom Paintings series. The still lifes imply narratives: in Still Life #60 (1973), a huge six-part work measuring almost thirty feet in width, the objects, which appear to be the contents of a woman’s purse, suggest a human presence; a visitor who has placed her belongings on a bedside table. In a sense, the still life has become a stand-in for the nude, or the intimate portrait of the beloved subject, Claire [Selley], absent from the image itself. - Taken from the Gagosian Gallery Press Release

A man of few words, I asked Gary for his take on the Wesselmann exhibition in just one word.

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 Tom Wesselmann,  Still Life #60 , 1973, oil on canvas, © The Estate of Tom Wesselmann/Licensed by VAGA, New York.

Tom Wesselmann, Still Life #60, 1973, oil on canvas, © The Estate of Tom Wesselmann/Licensed by VAGA, New York.

 Tom Wesselmann,  Still Life with Blue Jar and Smoking Cigarette  1981, oil on canvas, © The Estate of Tom Wesselmann/Licensed by VAGA, New York.

Tom Wesselmann, Still Life with Blue Jar and Smoking Cigarette 1981, oil on canvas, © The Estate of Tom Wesselmann/Licensed by VAGA, New York.

 Tom Wesselmann,  Still Life #61 , 1976, oil on canvas, © The Estate of Tom Wesselmann/Licensed by VAGA, New York.

Tom Wesselmann, Still Life #61, 1976, oil on canvas, © The Estate of Tom Wesselmann/Licensed by VAGA, New York.

Tom Wesselmann, Standing Still Lives, runs from January 18th through February 24th,
at the Gagosian Gallery in New York City, 555 West 24th Street.

You can follow Gary Wilson as he looks at all the art on instagram @garysilverlake