Wesselmann is highly regarded for his Great American Nude series (1961–73), which combines sensual depictions of the female figure with references to art history and popular culture. Many of these lounging female subjects were painted in patriotic red, white, and blue, quoting the Western figurative tradition while incorporating elements of high voltage American advertising.
In 1983 Wesselmann made his first drawings in steel. The lines on paper were lifted like they were drawn directly on the wall. These works are not meant to be spontaneous, but rather are carefully worked out drawings, with the paper removed. All of Wesselmann’s important elements found in his early works are united in these metal works. Wesselmann deliberately left the face blank in most of his works, to avoid the suggestion of a portrait, but the posture of the women commands admiration and desire.
As throughout his career Wesselmann looked the art of the French modernist Henri Matisse as his inspirations, this laser cuts in direct linage with Matisse’s late cutout works can be also interpreted as homage to Matisse
Source: Gagosian Gallery and Samuel Vanhoegaerden Gallery