Fredericks & Freiser presents an exhibition of paintings by John Wesley. Together and Alone features a group Wesley’s work from the 1980s to 2000s that suggests the loneliness and tensions of contemporary life. Bold negative spaces, enigmatic couplings, and a dream-like sense of anxiety highlight an aspect of Wesley’s production that communicates a synthesis of neurotics and erotics.
“(John Wesley) has not so much appropriated mass media imagery as he has reanimated and re-orchestrated it to march to the tunes of his own looniness. His horny lyricism probes the prurience and violence of our culture with a confounding blend of hilarity and foreboding. Wesley’s graphic shorthand, flattened space, and monumental scale, at once bring us in close and distance us; we, like the artist, become both coconspirators and neutral observers. Before we know it, the deceptive simplicity of his perversity has turned sex crimes into nursery rhymes and vice versa – and we are singing along … Wesley is very highly accomplished as a form maker, and he imbues his negative spaces with as much tension and shape as his positive spaces. His ground is never a passive container for the figure, but rather an active participant in Wesley’s mischief.”
— Klaus Kertess from his essay on the artist, Erotico(s)mics
About the Artist
John Wesley has been exhibited and collected by numerous museums since the 1960s. Surveys of his work have been held at the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, curated by Rudi Fuchs and Kasper Koenig (travelled to Portikus); DAAD, Berlin; PS1 MoMA, Long Island City, curated by Alana Heiss; Harvard University Art Museums, Cambridge, MA, curated by Linda Norden; Museum Haus Lange, Krefeld, Germany, curated by Dr. Martin Henschel; Chinati Foundation, Marfa, TX, curated by Marianne Stockebrand; and Fondazione Prada at the Venice Biennale curated by Germano Celant. Since 2004, the Chinati Foundation, Marfa, TX. has maintained a permanent gallery housing its collection of Wesley’s paintings, as was intended by Judd since the foundation’s inception. This will be Wesley’s 13th solo exhibition at Fredericks & Freiser.