Oil on canvas
68 x 91 inches
Purchase in honor of Rawson Foreman, Chairman of the Board of Directors, 1998–1999, with funds from Alfred Austell Thornton in memory of Leila Austell Thornton and Albert Edward Thornton, Sr., and Sarah Miller Venable and William Hoyt Venable
Tom Wesselmann appropriated imagery from pop culture, incorporating magazine photos and newspaper ads into his frank depictions of American domestic interiors populated by female nudes. Later, focusing on individual body parts such as feet, mouths, and breasts, Wesselmann began to imagine them as disembodied, often on a monumental scale. In his Mouth series, he depicts a single female mouth on a canvas shaped to the contours of the lips. Like Warhol’s use of Marilyn Monroe’s lips, Wesselmann’s Mouth paintings investigate how sex is used to sell celebrity. Mouth #15 is a three-quarter-length view of a black-and-white laughing mouth that is at once seductive, remote, and ominous.
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