Beyond Pop: A Tom Wesselmann Retrospective is the Denver Art Museum's summer blockbuster. Though Wesselmann was part of the initial group of artists who launched pop art in the '60s, his accomplishments are not as well remembered as are those of his fellow-traveling contemporaries. Maybe it's because his chosen topics -- naked women in pin-up poses and smokers -- are more outré now than they were when he made them. See also:Goldfish and a life-sized nude highlight Articulated Perspectives at the Habu Gallery The DAM exhibit begins with his 1950s collages, but by 1961 Wesselman had arrived at his first mature phase: his "Great American Nude" series. The influence of Matisse is clear, and though Wesselmann referenced other artists over the years, Matisse was clearly his principle source all along. This was the beginning of an extremely fertile period for the artist,.but he seemed to run out of steam by 1980. Then in the late '80s he got a second wind with the cut-metal bas-relief sculptures that he continued until his death in 2004.
Wesselmann's work has been rarely exhibit in the last twenty years, making this over-the-top show a rare treat. The show, which opened on July 13, runs through September 14 at the Denver Art Museum, 100 West 14th Avenue Parkway. For more information, call 720-865-5000 or go to denverartmuseum.org.
Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.