Los Angeles

John Wesley

Daniel Weinberg Gallery

While walking around this tight show of seven works spanning thirty years of John Wesley’s career, my friends and I concurred that although Wesley is not among those on the tips of the tongues of hedge fund collectors, so-called edgy curators, or, sadly, many younger painters, there is more to look at in his work than in many rooms at MoMA.

“Retroactive Pop” and “meta-representation,” two idiosyncratic terms that Donald Judd used to negotiate the strange, powerful paintings of John Wesley, resonate even as Judd noted, in an early review, seemingly structural concerns: “Most of the paintings are like or are copies of the pictures and patterns of blue and white china. Most of the forms are nineteenth-century. The forms selected, the shapes to which they are unobtrusively altered, the order used and the small details are humorous and goofy. This becomes a cool, psychological oddness.”

Specifically,

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