Monday, December 20, 2004

Pop Artist Dies, Changing-of-the-Avant-Guard

Tom Wesselman passed away last Friday, joining Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein in the Pop Pantheon of "Past Masters Who Passed Away".
This from the NY Times, today 12/20/04
"Along with Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Claes Oldenburg, James Rosenquist and Jim Dine, Mr. Wesselmann belonged to a generation of artists who gave American art and culture a new sense of itself. They found inspiration, source materials and even working methods in areas beyond art - in advertising, movies, food labels, household appliances, newspaper front pages and in commercial art techniques like silkscreen, Benday dots and billboard painting. The changes they wrought continue to reverberate through contemporary art and life."

This is almost the final stage in the changing-of-the-avant-guard, leaving James Rosenquist and Claus Oldenburg very much alive to carry the Pop torch. If you haven't seen J.R.'s "F-111" at his Guggenheim show last year, then hurry to MoMA and see it in a setting that seems made for it. Claus Oldenburg is busy turning his studio/loft/residence in SoHo into a gallery/museum.

Did I forget to put the Rubin Museum for Himalayan Art on my short list? I love the very Zen quote on the exterior of this newest museum in Chelsea: "Walls Are Doors".
I like that, if walls are doors and doors are mirrors and mirrors are windows and toys are us and wednesday is sunday at Carvel...

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