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Installation view of H.C. Westermann, New York, Venus Over Manhattan, 2019

Installation view of H.C. Westermann, New York, Venus Over Manhattan, 2019

Installation view of H.C. Westermann, New York, Venus Over Manhattan, 2019

Installation view of H.C. Westermann, New York, Venus Over Manhattan, 2019

Installation view of H.C. Westermann, New York, Venus Over Manhattan, 2019

Installation view of H.C. Westermann, New York, Venus Over Manhattan, 2019

Installation view of H.C. Westermann, New York, Venus Over Manhattan, 2019

Installation view of H.C. Westermann, New York, Venus Over Manhattan, 2019

Installation view of H.C. Westermann, New York, Venus Over Manhattan, 2019

Installation view of H.C. Westermann, New York, Venus Over Manhattan, 2019

Installation view of H.C. Westermann, New York, Venus Over Manhattan, 2019

Installation view of H.C. Westermann, New York, Venus Over Manhattan, 2019

Installation view of H.C. Westermann, New York, Venus Over Manhattan, 2019

Installation view of H.C. Westermann, New York, Venus Over Manhattan, 2019

Installation view of H.C. Westermann, New York, Venus Over Manhattan, 2019

Installation view of H.C. Westermann, New York, Venus Over Manhattan, 2019

Installation view of H.C. Westermann, New York, Venus Over Manhattan, 2019

Installation view of H.C. Westermann, New York, Venus Over Manhattan, 2019

Installation view of H.C. Westermann, New York, Venus Over Manhattan, 2019

Installation view of H.C. Westermann, New York, Venus Over Manhattan, 2019

Installation view of H.C. Westermann, New York, Venus Over Manhattan, 2019

Installation view of H.C. Westermann, New York, Venus Over Manhattan, 2019

Installation view of H.C. Westermann, New York, Venus Over Manhattan, 2019

Installation view of H.C. Westermann, New York, Venus Over Manhattan, 2019

Installation view of H.C. Westermann, New York, Venus Over Manhattan, 2019

Installation view of H.C. Westermann, New York, Venus Over Manhattan, 2019

Installation view of H.C. Westermann, New York, Venus Over Manhattan, 2019

Installation view of H.C. Westermann, New York, Venus Over Manhattan, 2019

Installation view of H.C. Westermann, New York, Venus Over Manhattan, 2019

Installation view of H.C. Westermann, New York, Venus Over Manhattan, 2019

Installation view of H.C. Westermann, New York, Venus Over Manhattan, 2019

Installation view of H.C. Westermann, New York, Venus Over Manhattan, 2019

Installation view of H.C. Westermann, New York, Venus Over Manhattan, 2019

Installation view of H.C. Westermann, New York, Venus Over Manhattan, 2019

Installation view of H.C. Westermann, New York, Venus Over Manhattan, 2019

Installation view of H.C. Westermann, New York, Venus Over Manhattan, 2019

Press Release

Press Release 1

H.C. Westermann: Works on Paper
February 20 – April 6, 2019
Opening: Wednesday, February 20th, 6:00 - 8:00 pm

Venus Over Manhattan
980 Madison Avenue
New York, NY 10075

(New York, NY) – Venus Over Manhattan is pleased to present H.C. Westermann: Works on Paper, an exhibition dedicated to the artist’s signature drawings and illustrated letters. Staged to coincide with “Going Home,” a major retrospective of Westermann’s work currently on view at the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, the presentation features over twenty-five works on paper, as well as a portion of the artist’s workshop and studio from his home in Brookfield Center, Connecticut. The presentation marks the gallery’s second project devoted to Westermann’s work, following 2015’s “See America First: Works from 1953-1980,” staged a year prior to Germano Celant’s critically lauded exhibition, “H.C. Westermann,” at the Fondazione Prada. The exhibition will be on view from February 20th through April 6th, 2019.

Press Release 2

Portrait of H.C. Westermann

Though H.C. Westermann is known primarily as a sculptor of witty and carefully crafted objects, his vivid drawings and illustrated letters constitute a body of work commensurate with the achievement of his most accomplished sculptures. He began sending letters while serving on the U.S.S. Enterprise during World War II – some ten years before making his first sculpture – which typically paired personal messages with punchy drawings. This signature blend of text and image developed into Westermann’s mature drawing style, typified by a particular brand of slapstick humor, saturated color, pressurized narrative, and contoured lines. Drawing remained a central aspect of Westermann’s practice for the rest of his life, through subsequent tours of duty, cross-country road trips, time spent in Chicago and San Francisco, and ultimately the years he spent with his wife, Joanna Beall Westermann, in Brookfield Center, Connecticut. Indeed, she recalls him spending “a couple of hours every morning writing and drawing.”

Press Release 3

H.C. Westermann, Green Planet, 1967

Westermann’s works on paper offer a comprehensive picture of his idiosyncratic worldview. Populated with a cast of repeating characters and persistent forms – forlorn soldiers, stylized self-portraits, feral animals, and his trademark Death Ships – Westermann’s drawings served numerous purposes throughout his life. He sent them to friends and fellow artists to update them on his travels; he made studies for images that later became lithographs; and he drew images of his sculptures to inform galleries of his production. Notable works on view include a suite of drawings featured in “Eye Infection,” the celebrated exhibition curated by Robert Storr at the Stedelijk Museum in 2001; Green Planet (1967), a preparatory drawing for a lithograph of the same name, held in the collection of The Metropolitan Museum of Art; and Terrifying Sea Picture (1966), which features a death ship and an oversized shark fin, two of Westermann’s most iconic images. He made many of these drawings in Connecticut, where, starting in 1969, he spent twelve years building a house and two studios for himself and his wife. Bringing to the construction of his house a level of detail found in his sculpture, Westermann’s home and studio have been called his “greatest work of art.” Complimenting the works on view, a portion of Westermann’s own studio will be installed in the gallery.

Press Release 4

H.C. Westermann, A Dried Up Desert Oasis, 1964

ABOUT H.C. WESTERMANN

Horace Clifford Westermann was born in 1922 in Los Angeles, California. He attended Los Angeles City College for two years before enlisting in the U.S. Marine Corps in 1942, serving aboard the U.S.S. Enterprise during World War II in the Pacific. Following the war, Westermann enrolled at the Art Institute of Chicago, before reenlisting for a tour of duty in the Korean War. Upon his return, Westermann reenrolled at the Art Institute, and staged his debut solo exhibition at the Allan Frumkin Gallery in 1958. In 1959, he married the painter Joanna Beall, with whom he moved to Brookfield Center, Connecticut, in 1964. Westermann’s work has been the subject of numerous solo presentations, including recent exhibitions at the Museo National Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid; Fondazione Prada, Milan; and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago. His work is held by many public institutions, including The Museum of Modern Art, New York; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; and the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago. Westermann lived and worked in Brookfield Center until his death in 1981.


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 Cliff carving a portrait of Allan Frumkin, 1961

H.C. Westermann
Cliff carving a portrait of Allan Frumkin, 1961
pen and ink on paper
13 3/8 x 10 1/2 in
34 x 26.7 cm
 

H.C. Westermann &$, 1962

H.C. Westermann
&$, 1962
ink on paper
13 1/2 x 10 1/4 in
34.3 x 26 cm
 

H.C. Westermann Rocking Horse, 1962

H.C. Westermann
Rocking Horse, 1962
ink and marker on paper
10 1/4 x 13 5/8 in
26 x 34.6 cm
 

H.C. Westermann A Dried Up Desert Oasis, 1964

H.C. Westermann
A Dried Up Desert Oasis, 1964
pen and ink and watercolor on paper
13 1/2 x 10 1/4 in
34.3 x 26 cm

H.C. Westermann GOP Convention #2, 1964

H.C. Westermann
GOP Convention #2, 1964
ink on paper
14 x 17 7/8 in
35.6 x 45.4 cm

H.C. Westermann Hilton - "Dead City," 1964

H.C. Westermann
Hilton - "Dead City," 1964
pen and ink on paper
10 3/4 x 13 1/2 in
27.3 x 34.3 cm

H.C. Westermann LA California, 1964

H.C. Westermann
LA California, 1964
collage, watercolor, and ink on paper
11 7/8 x 17 5/8 in
30.2 x 44.8 cm

H.C. Westermann Near Cuba, N.M., 1964

H.C. Westermann
Near Cuba, N.M., 1964
watercolor and ink on paper
11 5/8 x 16 in
29.5 x 40.6 cm
 

H.C. Westermann The Great Mojave Desert, 1964

H.C. Westermann
The Great Mojave Desert, 1964
ink on paper
12 x 17 5/8 in
30.5 x 44.8 cm

H.C. Westermann U.S.A., 1964

H.C. Westermann
U.S.A., 1964
ink and watercolor on paper
13 7/8 x 16 3/4 in
35.2 x 42.5 cm
 

H.C. Westermann Nannie Doss, 1965

H.C. Westermann
Nannie Doss, 1965
ink on paper
14 x 16 1/2 in
35.6 x 41.9 cm
 

H.C. Westermann Suicide Rehearsal, 1965

H.C. Westermann
Suicide Rehearsal, 1965
ink and watercolor with news clippings
16 5/8 x 13 7/8 in
42.2 x 35.2 cm

H.C. Westermann In the Petrified Forest, 1966

H.C. Westermann
In the Petrified Forest, 1966
pen and ink and watercolor on paper
10 3/4 x 13 3/4 in
27.3 x 34.9 cm

H.C. Westermann Port of Shadows, 1966

H.C. Westermann
Port of Shadows, 1966
ink on paper
13 1/2 x 9 7/8 in
34.3 x 25.1 cm
 

H.C. Westermann Terrifying Sea Picture, 1966

H.C. Westermann
Terrifying Sea Picture, 1966
pen and ink on paper
13 1/2 x 9 7/8 in
34.3 x 25.1 cm
 

H.C. Westermann The Red Guard, 1966

H.C. Westermann
The Red Guard, 1966
ink and watercolor on paper
13 1/2 x 9 7/8 in
34.3 x 25.1 cm
 

H.C. Westermann Green Planet, 1967

H.C. Westermann
Green Planet, 1967
pen and ink and watercolor on wove paper
13 1/2 x 10 1/4 in
34.1 x 26 cm
 

H.C. Westermann Buildings on a Red Butte, 1968

H.C. Westermann
Buildings on a Red Butte, 1968
ink and watercolor on paper
17 3/4 x 22 3/4 in
45.1 x 57.8 cm
 

H.C. Westermann Image of Cactus/Sun, 1968

H.C. Westermann
Image of Cactus/Sun, 1968
ink and watercolor on paper
16 3/4 x 21 5/8 in
42.5 x 54.9 cm

H.C. Westermann Shooting Star, 1968

H.C. Westermann
Shooting Star, 1968
watercolor on paper
16 1/2 x 22 in
41.9 x 55.9 cm

H.C. Westermann Untitled, 1976

H.C. Westermann
Untitled, 1976
ink, watercolor and collage on paper
10 x 8 in
25.4 x 20.3 cm

H.C. Westermann City in the Desert, n.d.

H.C. Westermann
City in the Desert, n.d.
watercolor and ink on paper
7 5/8 x 10 3/4 in
19.4 x 27.3 cm

H.C. Westermann Outlaw Flying Machine, n.d.

H.C. Westermann
Outlaw Flying Machine, n.d.
ink and marker on paper
13 1/2 x 10 3/4 in
34.3 x 27.3 cm

H.C. Westermann Pirate Ship with Attacking Lighthouse, n.d.

H.C. Westermann
Pirate Ship with Attacking Lighthouse, n.d.
ink on paper
11 x 8 3/8 in
27.9 x 21.3 cm
 

H.C. Westermann Repent, n.d.

H.C. Westermann
Repent, n.d.
watercolor, gouache and ink on paper
13 1/2 x 10 1/4 in
34.3 x 26 cm
 

H.C. Westermann Right Straight On, n.d.

H.C. Westermann
Right Straight On, n.d.
watercolor and ink on paper
7 3/4 x 10 3/4 in
19.7 x 27.3 cm
 

H.C. Westermann You Bastard, n.d.

H.C. Westermann
You Bastard, n.d.
ink on paper
13 1/2 x 10 5/8 in
34.3 x 27 cm

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