John Wesley in The Pop Object: The Still Life Tradition in Pop Art


Beyer Projects worked with John Wesley to create Islamic in 2009. The work is based on a suitcase the artist painted in 1964, and thought to be lost or destroyed before resurfacing at a Connecticut auction house in 2011. The original suitcase (pictured, at left) is now on view in Acquavella Gallery's superb exhibition The Pop Object: The Still Life Tradition in Pop Art , curated by art historian John Wilmerding:
"Still life also has long been treated as a minor preoccupation for artists, yet has turned out to be the occasion for some of Pop’s most innovative and witty expressions,” said Wilmerding... "Though Pop artists did not consider themselves as being a part of a unified movement, the still life object has been of shared interest to both canonical Pop artists and lesser-known artists. Two major innovative ideas will be explored in the exhibition: the expansion of still life beyond painting into multidimensional sculptural forms, and the presentation of a variety of new media as modes of expression."

John Wesley: Islamic


Beyer Projects is pleased to announce Islamic, a painted bronze edition by John Wesley. The project, an edition of 6, is based on a 1964 work entitled Islamic that has since been destroyed.  Wesley’s paintings, as many scholars have noted, employ styles associated with the Pop and Surrealist movements and yet defy categorization as either. His works are deceptively simple: an economy of line, an insistently flat, often distant execution with an interest in repetition, and a restricted palette are defining features. And yet this apparent simplicity belies the presence of an extraordinary eye for composition, a measured gesture in which no line is extraneous, and a perceptive, curious, and unabashedly erotic mind for which the unknown and the imaginary are powerful provocations.
The nudes in Wesley’s works are drawn from existing media; his method involves tracing those found forms and then grafting them onto the canvas or object and enlarging them exponentially via a mathematical formula.