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Installation image of H.C. Westermann: See America First: Works from 1953-1980, New York, Venus Over Manhattan, 2015

Installation view of H.C. Westermann: See America First: Works from 1953-1980, New York, Venus Over Manhattan, 2015

Installation image of H.C. Westermann: See America First: Works from 1953-1980, New York, Venus Over Manhattan, 2015

Installation view of H.C. Westermann: See America First: Works from 1953-1980, New York, Venus Over Manhattan, 2015

Installation image of H.C. Westermann: See America First: Works from 1953-1980, New York, Venus Over Manhattan, 2015

Installation view of H.C. Westermann: See America First: Works from 1953-1980, New York, Venus Over Manhattan, 2015

Installation image of H.C. Westermann: See America First: Works from 1953-1980, New York, Venus Over Manhattan, 2015

Installation view of H.C. Westermann: See America First: Works from 1953-1980, New York, Venus Over Manhattan, 2015

Installation image of H.C. Westermann: See America First: Works from 1953-1980, New York, Venus Over Manhattan, 2015

Installation view of H.C. Westermann: See America First: Works from 1953-1980, New York, Venus Over Manhattan, 2015

Installation image of H.C. Westermann: See America First: Works from 1953-1980, New York, Venus Over Manhattan, 2015

Installation view of H.C. Westermann: See America First: Works from 1953-1980, New York, Venus Over Manhattan, 2015

Installation image of H.C. Westermann: See America First: Works from 1953-1980, New York, Venus Over Manhattan, 2015

Installation view of H.C. Westermann: See America First: Works from 1953-1980, New York, Venus Over Manhattan, 2015

Installation image of H.C. Westermann: See America First: Works from 1953-1980, New York, Venus Over Manhattan, 2015

Installation view of H.C. Westermann: See America First: Works from 1953-1980, New York, Venus Over Manhattan, 2015

Installation image of H.C. Westermann: See America First: Works from 1953-1980, New York, Venus Over Manhattan, 2015

Installation view of H.C. Westermann: See America First: Works from 1953-1980, New York, Venus Over Manhattan, 2015

Installation image of H.C. Westermann: See America First: Works from 1953-1980, New York, Venus Over Manhattan, 2015

Installation view of H.C. Westermann: See America First: Works from 1953-1980, New York, Venus Over Manhattan, 2015

Installation image of H.C. Westermann: See America First: Works from 1953-1980, New York, Venus Over Manhattan, 2015

Installation view of H.C. Westermann: See America First: Works from 1953-1980, New York, Venus Over Manhattan, 2015

Installation image of H.C. Westermann: See America First: Works from 1953-1980, New York, Venus Over Manhattan, 2015

Installation view of H.C. Westermann: See America First: Works from 1953-1980, New York, Venus Over Manhattan, 2015

Installation image of H.C. Westermann: See America First: Works from 1953-1980, New York, Venus Over Manhattan, 2015

Installation view of H.C. Westermann: See America First: Works from 1953-1980, New York, Venus Over Manhattan, 2015

Installation image of H.C. Westermann: See America First: Works from 1953-1980, New York, Venus Over Manhattan, 2015

Installation view of H.C. Westermann: See America First: Works from 1953-1980, New York, Venus Over Manhattan, 2015

Installation image of H.C. Westermann: See America First: Works from 1953-1980, New York, Venus Over Manhattan, 2015

Installation view of H.C. Westermann: See America First: Works from 1953-1980, New York, Venus Over Manhattan, 2015

Installation image of H.C. Westermann: See America First: Works from 1953-1980, New York, Venus Over Manhattan, 2015

Installation view of H.C. Westermann: See America First: Works from 1953-1980, New York, Venus Over Manhattan, 2015

Installation image of H.C. Westermann: See America First: Works from 1953-1980, New York, Venus Over Manhattan, 2015

Installation view of H.C. Westermann: See America First: Works from 1953-1980, New York, Venus Over Manhattan, 2015

Press Release

Press Release

H.C. Westermann: See America First – Works from 1953-1980
November 2, 2016 - January 16, 2017
Opening: Monday, November 2nd, 6:00 - 8:00 pm

VENUS
980 Madison Avenue
New York, NY 10075

(New York, NY) – VENUS is pleased to present H.C. Westermann: See America First – Works from 1953-1980 an exhibition of sculptures and works on paper by American artist, H.C. Westermann (b. 1922, Los Angeles, CA - d. 1981, Danbury, CT).

Westermann was an influential post-war artist, though his work historically existed outside the popular mainstream. Audiences and critics have often attempted to situate Westermann’s works within various art historical movements ranging from Surrealism and Minimalism to Neo Dada. Though Westermann incorporated elements from these movements into his work, his oeuvre resists definition; Westermann stands alone as an eccentric art world maverick.

Much of Westermann’s work speaks to his own personal history, specifically his time serving in the U.S. Marine Corps during both World War II and the Korean War. Westerman’s view of America was both nostalgic and romantic, and his work reflects his yearning for an era that favored traditional values. The America that emerged after World War II stood as a global super power that thrived on growth and abundance, spawning a new culture in a changed nation. Pop artists at this time, such as Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein, were influenced by the proliferation of new media and mass culture. Westermann chose to use his skills as a carpenter to confront the brutal realities of his time at war and the general post-war psyche. Often with notes of humor and irony, Westermann’s sculptures engage with a sense of loss both in his own life and of the values of pre-World War II America. See America First takes its name from a series of prints and unique works on paper made by Westermann in 1968. The series was inspired by a road trip taken across the country in 1964. It also refers to the importance of nationhood in Westermann’s overall body of work. The exhibition will include roughly 80 works by Westermann, including sculptures, works on paper, and a series of 19 illustrated letters written to the artist’s longtime dealer Allan Frumkin.
 

ABOUT H.C. WESTERMANN

H.C. Westermann was born in Los Angeles, California in 1922. He attended Los Angeles City College for two years beginning in 1940 before enlisting in the U.S. Marine Corps, from which he went on to fight against Japan in the Pacific Theater aboard the U.S.S. Enterprise. Following the war, Westermann enrolled at the Art Institute of Chicago where he studied painting. From 1951 to 1952, Westermann served a tour of duty in Korea. In 1958, he was given his first solo exhibition at the Allan Frumkin Gallery in Chicago, entitled H.C. Westermann: Recent Work. Frumkin would continue to represent Westermann for the next twenty years. Westermann was selected for inclusion in the show New Images of Man at MoMA in 1959. He has had retrospectives at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in 1968, at the Whitney Museum of American Art in 1978, and at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago in 2003.

For further information about the exhibition and availability, please contact the gallery at info@venusovermanhattan.com

For all press inquiries related to the exhibition, please email press@venusovermanhattan.com

H.C. Westermann Boy in the Forest, 1953

H.C. Westermann

Boy in the Forest, 1953

casein on veneered plywood

23 3/4 x 34 in
60.3 x 86.4 cm

H.C. Westermann Man Animal, 1953

H.C. Westermann

Man Animal, 1953

oil on canvas
25 1/2 x 37 in

64.8 x 94 cm

H.C. Westermann Untitled (Unusual Physician), 1957

H.C. Westermann

Untitled (Unusual Physician), 1957
pine, metal, aluminum
8 1/2 x 12 x 9 1/4 in

21.6 x 30.5 x 23.5 cm

H.C. Westermann Object Under Pressure, 1960

H.C. Westermann

Object Under Pressure, 1960

douglas fir, metal, pressure gauge
72 3/4 x 14 x 16 3/8 in

184.8 x 35.6 x 41.6 cm

H.C. Westermann The Silver Queen, 1960

H.C. Westermann

The Silver Queen, 1960
pine, plywood, pine moulding, galvanized metal weather vent, iron fittings, enamel, aluminum alkyd enamel
79 3/4 x 20 7/8 x 21 1/8 in

202.6 x 53 x 53.7 cm

H.C. Westermann Swingin’ Red King, 1961

H.C. Westermann

Swingin’ Red King, 1961

pine, pine moulding, plywood, enamel
83 3/4 x 29 1/4 x 25 in

212.7 x 74.3 x 63.5 cm

H.C. Westermann Where the Angels Fear to Tread, 1962

H.C. Westermann

Where the Angels Fear to Tread, 1962
pine, enamel, metal, rubber bumpers

18 1/4 x 10 3/8 x 3 1/2 in

46.4 x 26.4 x 8.9 cm

H.C. Westermann L.B., 1963

H.C. Westermann

L.B., 1963
wood, plate glass, mirror, enamel, ink
14 x 13 7/8 x 3 in

35.6 x 35.2 x 7.6 cm

H.C. Westermann 19 Illustrated Letters (From H.C. Westermann to Allan Frumkin), 1963-1970

H.C. Westermann

19 Illustrated Letters (From H.C. Westermann to Allan Frumkin), 1963-1970

ink, watercolor on paper
17 3/4 x 22 1/2 in

45.1 x 57.2 cm

H.C. Westermann A Human Condition, 1964

H.C. Westermann

A Human Condition, 1964

pine, masonite, brass
37 7/8 x 24 x 13 in

96.2 x 61 x 33 cm

H.C. Westermann Aluminated, 1964

H.C. Westermann

Aluminated, 1964
marine plywood, masonite, aluminum alkyd enamel, reflectors, enamel, mirror, rubber bumpers

18 3/4 x 21 3/4 x 22 in

47.6 x 55.2 x 55.9 cm

H.C. Westermann Clean Air, 1964

H.C. Westermann

Clean Air, 1964
walnut, plate glass, putty, brass plate, and rubber bumpers
15 3/4 x 22 1/4 x 14 5/8 in

40 x 56.5 x 37.1 cm

H.C. Westermann The Beginning of a Brand New City, 1964

H.C. Westermann

The Beginning of a Brand New City, 1964
aluminum, pine, plywood, plate glass, aluminum alkyd enamel, enamel, mirror, and rubber bumpers

21 3/4 x 19 1/2 x 6 in

55.2 x 49.5 x 15.2 cm

H.C. Westermann Walnut Box, 1964

H.C. Westermann

Walnut Box, 1964
walnut, walnuts, plate glass, brass chain
10 3/4 x 13 3/8 x 11 in

27.3 x 34 x 27.9 cm

H.C. Westermann Shark Board, 1965

H.C. Westermann

Shark Board, 1965
cedar, ebony, pine, rubber bumpers
3 5/8 x 29 7/8 x 15 1/2 in
9.2 x 75.9 x 39.4 cm

H.C. Westermann Suicide Tower, 1965

H.C. Westermann

Suicide Tower, 1965

mahogany, brass, ebony, postcards, and metal
43 3/4 x 15 1/4 x 13 7/8 in

111.1 x 38.7 x 35.2 cm

H.C. Westermann The Ball and the Jack, 1965

H.C. Westermann

The Ball and the Jack, 1965

ash and ink
27 3/4 x 24 3/8 x 10 7/8 in

70.5 x 61.9 x 27.6 cm

H.C. Westermann Death Ship Runover by a ‘66 Lincoln Continental, 1966

H.C. Westermann

Death Ship Runover by a ‘66 Lincoln Continental, 1966

pine, plate glass, ebony, US dollar bills, putty, brass, ink
15 5/8 x 32 1/2 x 11 3/4 in

39.7 x 82.6 x 29.8 cm

H.C. Westermann Homage to American Art (Dedicated to Elie Nadelman), 1966

H.C. Westermann

Homage to American Art (Dedicated to Elie Nadelman), 1966

douglas fir, ash, cast lead, antique shovel handle

48 1/4 x 18 x 18 1/4 in

122.6 x 45.7 x 46.4 cm

H.C. Westermann Le Keeque (after Jockomedy), 1966

H.C. Westermann

Le Keeque (after Jockomedy), 1966

chromium-plated solid cast bronze

36 x 19 x 9 in

91.4 x 48.3 x 22.9 cm

H.C. Westermann Le Ronaire, 1966

H.C. Westermann

Le Ronaire, 1966

wood and brass
27 x 37 x 8 1/4 in

68.6 x 94 x 21 cm

H.C. Westermann March or Die, 1966

H.C. Westermann

March or Die, 1966
pine, redwood, leather, ebony, metal, felt, ink
30 3/4 x 20 x 10 3/8 in

78.1 x 50.8 x 26.4 cm

H.C. Westermann Mr. Goo #1, 1966

H.C. Westermann

Mr. Goo #1, 1966

chrome plated bronze
14 x 11 x 4 5/8 in

35.6 x 27.9 x 11.7 cm

edition 1 of 2

H.C. Westermann Nothing is to be Done for William T. Wiley, 1967

H.C. Westermann

Nothing is to be Done for William T. Wiley, 1967

wood
43 1/2 x 28 x 2 in

110.5 x 71.1 x 5.1 cm

H.C. Westermann The Rape of Cracker Jack, 1967

H.C. Westermann

The Rape of Cracker Jack, 1967

maple, hemp rope with electrical tape, brass chain, rubber bumpers, ink

11 3/8 x 30 1/4 x 9 1/4 in

28.9 x 76.8 x 23.5 cm

H.C. Westermann Six Illustrated Letters (From H.C. Westermann to Peter and Robert Frumkin), 1967- 1970

H.C. Westermann

Six Illustrated Letters (From H.C. Westermann to Peter and Robert Frumkin), 1967- 1970

various dimensions

10 1/2 x 7 1/4 in

26.7 x 18.4 cm

H.C. Westermann Death Ship of No Port with a Shifted Cargo, 1968

H.C. Westermann

Death Ship of No Port with a Shifted Cargo, 1968

redwood, ebony, amaranth (purpleheart), goatskin, brass, pine, and rubber bumpers

9 7/8 x 16 7/8 x 6 1/2 in

25.1 x 42.9 x 16.5 cm

H.C. Westermann No Man Stands So Straight as When He Stoops to Help a Boy, 1968

H.C. Westermann

No Man Stands So Straight as When He Stoops to Help a Boy, 1968

bird’s-eye maple, cast bronze, cast lead, brass, stainless steel, copper, iron, paint, nuts and bolts, rubber bumpers, ink

15 x 22 1/2 x 9 1/2 in

38.1 x 57.2 x 24.1 cm

H.C. Westermann See America First, 1968

H.C. Westermann

See America First, 1968

watercolor and ink on paper
17 3/4 x 20 3/4 in

45.1 x 52.7 cm

H.C. Westermann See America First (Untitled #7), 1968

H.C. Westermann

See America First (Untitled #7), 1968
ink and ink wash on paper

10 2/3 x 13 3/4 in

27 x 34.9 cm

H.C. Westermann Frenchy’s Rocking Horse plus Artist’s Box, 1969

H.C. Westermann

Frenchy’s Rocking Horse plus Artist’s Box, 1969
beech, douglas fir, white oak, zebrawood bolts, brass nuts, ink

16 7/8 x 10 3/4 x 23 3/4 in

42.9 x 27.3 x 60.3 cm

H.C. Westermann Little Egypt, 1969

H.C. Westermann

Little Egypt, 1969

douglas fir, pine, oak, bronze
68 1/2 x 32 3/8 x 31 1/8 in
174 x 82.2 x 79.1 cm

H.C. Westermann The Deerslayer, 1969

H.C. Westermann

The Deerslayer, 1969

galvanized iron pipe and fittings, metal, wood, and antler

82 1/2 x 28 x 47 1/4 in

209.6 x 71.1 x 120 cm

H.C. Westermann Walnut Log, 1969

H.C. Westermann

Walnut Log, 1969
walnut, tape
8 1/2 x 17 1/4 x 5 1/2 in

21.6 x 43.8 x 14 cm

H.C. Westermann Billy Al 67X, 1970

H.C. Westermann

Billy Al 67X, 1970
sugar pine, vermillion, brass

12 5/8 x 13 3/4 x 10 in

32.1 x 34.9 x 25.4 cm

H.C. Westermann Strong Man’s Chair, 1970

H.C. Westermann

Strong Man’s Chair, 1970

douglas fir, leather, zebra wood, brass plate
42 x 21 3/4 x 20 5/8 in

106.7 x 55.2 x 52.4 cm

H.C. Westermann Untitled, 1970

H.C. Westermann

Untitled, 1970
ink and wash on paper

22 1/4 x 29 3/4 in

56.5 x 75.6 cm

H.C. Westermann An Old Indian Implement, 1971

H.C. Westermann

An Old Indian Implement, 1971
douglas fir, Connecticut fieldstone, pigskin, walnut

10 x 18 x 10 3/4 in

25.4 x 45.7 x 27.3 cm

H.C. Westermann Human Fly, 1971

H.C. Westermann

Human Fly, 1971
ink and watercolor on paper

29 3/4 x 22 1/4 in
75.6 x 56.5 cm

H.C. Westermann Black Death Ship, 1972

H.C. Westermann

Black Death Ship, 1972
ink and watercolor on paper

22 x 30 in
55.9 x 76.2 cm

H.C. Westermann The Airline Pilot, 1973

H.C. Westermann

The Airline Pilot, 1973

copper, screen, solder

27 3/8 x 26 3/4 x 21 1/8 in

69.5 x 67.9 x 53.7 cm

H.C. Westermann Untitled (First Peanut), 1973

H.C. Westermann

Untitled (First Peanut), 1973

eastern pine, walnut, rubber

13 5/8 x 24 3/8 x 10 1/2 in

34.6 x 61.9 x 26.7 cm

H.C. Westermann I’m Goin’ Home on the Midnight Train, 1974

H.C. Westermann

I’m Goin’ Home on the Midnight Train, 1974
purpleheart (amaranth), hickory, zebrawood, ebony, brass, steel, pine, ink

5 1/2 x 23 x 7 3/4 in

14 x 58.4 x 19.7 cm

H.C. Westermann Untitled (“Walnut Death Ship in a Chestnut Box”), 1974

H.C. Westermann

Untitled (“Walnut Death Ship in a Chestnut Box”), 1974

chestnut, walnut, zebrawood, galvanized sheet metal, copper, and ebony

17 7/8 x 24 7/8 x 8 1/2 in

45.4 x 63.2 x 21.6 cm

H.C. Westermann Connecticut Ballroom, 1976

H.C. Westermann

Connecticut Ballroom, 1976

seven woodblock prints on natsume paper
each: 24 x 30 in

each: 61 x 76.2 cm

H.C. Westermann Ed’s Varnish, 1976

H.C. Westermann

Ed’s Varnish, 1976
pine, three one-quart cans of Man O’War Ultra Spar Marine Varnish, bird’s-eye maple, brass, ink
9 7/8 x 18 1/2 x 8 1/2 in

25.1 x 47 x 21.6 cm

H.C. Westermann U.S.S. Franklin Arising from an Oil Slick Sea, 1976

H.C. Westermann

U.S.S. Franklin Arising from an Oil Slick Sea, 1976
pine, enamel, ebony, granadillo (cocobolo), and brass

10 1/2 x 33 x 7 1/4 in

26.7 x 83.8 x 18.4 cm

H.C. Westermann Female Figure, 1977

H.C. Westermann

Female Figure, 1977
southern pine, aspen, hemlock, douglas fir, beech saplings, oak, plate glass, watercolor on paper, photograph
79 3/4 x 24 1/8 x 31 1/4 in

202.6 x 61.3 x 79.4 cm

H.C. Westermann Texas Cactus, 1979-80

H.C. Westermann

Texas Cactus, 1979-80
douglas fir, plywood, sugar pine, enamel, masonite, sapling

56 5/8 x 20 1/2 x 23 5/8 in

143.8 x 52.1 x 60 cm

H.C. Westermann 15 Decorated Envelopes (From H.C. Westermann to Allan Frumkin)

H.C. Westermann

15 Decorated Envelopes (From H.C. Westermann to Allan Frumkin)

various dimensions

Ed Ruscha Bloated Empire, Stuffed Regime, 1997

Ed Ruscha
Bloated Empire, Stuffed Regime, 1997
acrylic on shaped canvas
76 x 77 1/2 in
193 x 196.9 cm

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