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The Promise of Happiness, exhibition by Tom Wesselmann at Villa Paloma
June 29, 2018 @ 8:00 am - January 31, 2019 @ 5:59 am
In June 2018 the New National Museum of Monaco (NMNM) will exhibit a series of works by Tom Wesselmann at Villa Paloma.
From Friday 29 June to Thursday 31 January, from 10 am to 6 pm Nouveau Musée National – Villa Sauber: Tom Wesselmann exhibition – The Promise of Happiness
Named The Promise of Happiness, the exhibition will revolve around the career of this pop art singer, highlighting his immense contribution to the taboo subject of sexuality. The exhibition takes its title from Stendhal’s celebrated claim that “Beauty is but the promise of happiness.”
Concentrating on the artist’s portrayal of women, which has been known to draw fire for its purported objectification, this exhibition argues for a much more nuanced understanding of the Wesselmann’s rapport with the female subject. Indeed, through this survey, a certain sense of female agency will become apparent, which in itself is symptomatic of a crucial historical shift from Victorian repression to the abundance associated with postwar American consumerism, as both are described and quite literally embodied in Wesselmann’s work. Long considered one of the key American Pop artists as well as one of its great formal innovators, Wesselmann’s specific critical contribution to the movement has been a subject of debate for decades. This survey intends to clarify this debate, locating his prodigious and penetrating contribution to the taboo subject of sexuality, portrayals thereof, and its inseparable link with the boundless promise conveyed by the cultural, material and economic bounty of postwar American society.