new-york

John Wesley, Radcliffe Tennis Team, 1963, Duco and oil on canvas, 68 × 60".

John Wesley

Fredericks & Freiser

John Wesley, Radcliffe Tennis Team, 1963, Duco and oil on canvas, 68 × 60".

John Wesley’s flat, reductive, figurative paintings from the early 1960s represent an alternate Pop vision that not only emphasizes the slick surfaces of postwar consumer culture but also filters the esoteric visual iconography of WASP tribalism through the artist’s own odd psychology. Titled “Important Works from 1961 to 1966,” the sixteen pieces—painting, sculpture, and drawing—that made up this exhibition underscore Wesley’s importance during an early period in his career, namely the years immediately following his move from Los Angeles to New York, when he started exhibiting. As Wesley has consistently painted strange, signature compositions well into the twenty-first century, these works differ little stylistically from the artist’s more mature paintings, suggesting that he arrived on the scene fully formed. Moreover, the exhibition revealed that the uncomfortable political

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