Modern + Contemporary Design /28 March 2006


Tom Wesselmann

Little Still Life #14
USA, 1964
relief collage on board, acrylicrelief collage on board, acrylic
9 h × 11¾ w in (23 × 30 cm)

Pop Art proliferated during the late 1950s and 1960s, raising issues of image reproduction and appropriation in an increasingly commercialized environment. Wesselmann's collage illustrates the movement's concern with the relationship between high art and popular culture. The all-American breakfast scene looks like a television or magazine advertisement, yet Wesselmann detaches the food from its original context, forcing a reinterpretation. The scene appears as almost a parody of itself, illustrating the banality of a banal subject matter. In the end, he does not conflate the high and low arts completely, as the dimensionally raised Spam-like meat, an appropriated advertisement, lies in a separate plane from the painted background, clearly distinguishing the mass-produced element from the artistically-rendered setting. Signed to upper left: [Wesselmann 64]. Gallery labels to verso. Framed.

provenance: Waddington, Montreal Jerrold Morris International Gallery Limited, Toronto Private collection

estimate: $70,000–90,000
result: $150,000

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