6/02/2006

John Wesley




















29 comments:

triple diesel said...

(left) Mexican Movie, 2002
Acrylic on canvas
51 x 65 inches

(right) Blue Frog, 1998
Acrylic on canvas
46 x 50 inches

(bottom) Rugby Players, 1982
Acrylic on canvas
60 x 72 inches

burrito brother said...

one of my favorite artists of all time.

JD said...

Yes, yes. LOVE. The weird baby nursery palette, the inexplicable symmetries, the sinuous line. Did anyone see the show of his work from the Sixties? I think it was last winter sometime.

Palooka said...

Yes, I've always loved Wesley's work when I've seen it reproduced, but I've never seen the paintings in person. Good live too? I'm always surprised at how some art reproduces better than it feels in the real (real?) world.

closeuup said...

All these cartoon paintings. Yet not one of them is a tenth as good as a Hernendez Bro. comic. None of these painters can draw.

bsch said...

Maximizes visual impact and resonance with minimal painterly effects. This is challenging work from the point of view of an expressionist.
Thanks for showing this and I think that the multiple image format is very helpful.
What else can you say about John Wesley, he's one of Dave Hickey's favorite painters.
I'll keep looking. Only wish that I could see these in person.

triple diesel said...

Bsch: you can see "Rugby Players" at Zwirner & Wirth uptown, along with other "vintage" Wesley paintings.

PS said...

Deeply weird, deeply bitchin. All sorts of interesting threads in Wesley. Much respect to him.

oilybrushes said...

ps, what do you find 'deeply weird' about these works?

re: the multi painting format. I like it, but I did actually prefer to focus on just one work. I was happy to just google them if I wanted to see more. This feels more like a critique on the artist as a whole rather than a specific work.

no-where-man said...

benevolent, John Wesley long live the Armory.

triple diesel said...

oily: that's what we were shooting for in our guest-hosting efforts this week. Just an experiment...

EZ PEE said...

Snakes! I saw some Japanimation or to be precise, some japanimation was what I saw the other day and it was deeply weird. Not the story, which was the ususual "kiddies save the magical realm from the ice queen" sort of schtick.

Shunga is weirder.

or try hentai

weak porridge

PS said...

Oily, I find the back and forth between figuration and abstraction in Wesley unsettling in a delicious way. He takes me someplace very specific. He's loaded.

Most of all I love what the guy does with the body.

closeuup said...

http://www.tcj.com/258/beto.jpg

ad3pt said...

wow, I thought roy lichenstein died already. was this guy one of his assistants? did someone say tom wesselman?

chris moss said...

Helion anyone? I love me some Helion and I love me some frog. A little Rick Briggs for desert. Thanks 3xD this does go well with the chicken. I'll take a Shunga appetizer any day.

albino radio1 said...

this work reminds me of a flatter version of lari pittman. i don't see it immediately, but the negative spaces supporting the obvious subjects make strong impressions with time, like the space between the legs, and the pale green grass. is this leg picture abstraction?

in any event, i find the flatness of these pictures the key. the slight alteration that causes an imbalance when the deep green socks meet the horizon line, pretends to break the flat space. the locked-in quality of a body with different coloured legs fights its inevitibility.

bsch said...

Someone said that these were bad drawings. I think that makes a point which is important even if the author of that comment is ignorant of it. The handling of color, form, line and surface is PRECISE. And yet the drawings are a little off. At first look, a little goofy. But I don't think that anything that Wesley does is accidental. Look at the shapes of the character's mouths. The shapes of noses and knees. He creates awkward relationships which belie the simple statement. His pictures offer more than what is seen at first glance. He invites closer attention by the intense application of his craft and then twists things with the curve of a lip or the shape of a shoe. I'm not a disciple but there's is more here than a copy of Lichtenstein or Wesselmann. These pieces are more than Pop.

sloth said...

An acquired taste for me. I remember really disliking John Wesley's paintings upon first encountering them years ago at Fredericks Freiser... I dismissed them as a re-hash of Wesselman via Lichtenstein. But they've grown on me in a major way since then; their weirdness is always surprising & unsettling in a good way. The powdery color, the odd & awkward drawing, the twisty flatness and an absolute mastery of technique and consistent delivery of the goods won me over.

sloth said...

agreed about the drawing, bsch. very deliberate.

no-where-man said...

pop is pure

no-where-man said...

speaking of deliberate the top 3 jpegs hold a spot on layout.

brian edmonds said...

I think he is fair at best. It feels like he is going through the motions. At least early Lichtenstein had some feel and punch to it.

no-where-man said...

seminal

wade said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Avondale said...

John Wesley is like the artworld version of Johnny Cash--simple, direct and heartbreakingly profound. He is one of the most influential artists of our time. I would put him with Baselitz, Richter, and Ruscha. Anyone who still doesn't "get" Wesley really needs to check out the uptown show at Zwirner or at least make an effort to see the work in person. I didn't really understand the impact of this work until I saw the show at PS1 a few years ago. In fact the "buzz" is much greater than in Lichtenstein (who really just appropriates from Jack Kirby) and unlike Lichtenstein and Wesselman, Wesley continued to make great work. Did anyone see the lips painting at the Armory (Fredricks Freiser had it on the outside of their booth). Plus you have to respect someone who can own his colors more than anyone since Yves Klein.

zipthwung said...

Dagwood.

Margaret said...

Someone asked if the paintings hold up in person. Yes, the colors are better. There is a lot of variety, every painting with humor. Someone said he was like Johnny Cash. I like that. I have a webpage on Jack Wesley, at www.marharrell.com

Margaret said...

Someone asked if the paintings hold up in person. Yes, the colors are better. There is a lot of variety, every painting with humor. Someone said he was like Johnny Cash. I like that. I have a webpage on Jack Wesley, at www.marharrell.com