DENVER (CBS4) – A new exhibit at the Denver Art Museum will have visitors talking, and perhaps blushing with amusement as they stroll through Tom Wesselmann’s works.

There aren’t a lot of artists who excel at creating nude paintings as well pictures of mayonnaise jars and who can appreciate the beauty of women and the whimsical appeal of pop culture.

Denver Art Museum

A Tom Wesselmann piece (credit: CBS)

Behind the artist, but quite clearly on the canvas, is his Wesselmann’s wife, Claire. She gave CBS4’s Suzanne McCarroll a tour of her late husband’s works. Those who view Wesselmann’s creations with an objective and educated eye say his work reflects a changing era.

RELATED: Tom Wesselmann Artwork Installed At Denver Art Museum

“He was interested in taking the reclining nude that you might see in some of the old master paintings, and really thinking about, ‘How can we update that to today’s society and culture?’ ” Denver Art Museum spokeswoman Danielle Stephens said. “That’s when he started integrating Del Monte cans and slices of bread and apples. In one of the pieces you see a little kitten.”

It’s hard not to smile a bit while wandering through loud colors and subtle messages. Some of his nude images are perhaps not quite subtle enough for television news, but his wife loves all his art.

“I was married for 40 years before he died,” Claire said.

For Claire, the creations help her miss him less and appreciate him more.

“Essentially I can’t have him back. I’d rather that, but he’s around me all the time,” she said.

LINK: Denver Art Museum


Leave a Reply