John Wesley

An artist with a large and passionate cult following, John Wesley is known for his spare, cartoonlike paintings that use repetition and odd scenes to discomfiting ends, seeming to tap into the logic of dreams, or the subconscious. With their characteristic flatness and limited color scheme, his quirky paintings have been identified with Surrealism, Minimalism, and Pop. His recurring subjects—nude women, pachyderms, Popeye, floating babies—are characteristically rendered in cheeky combinations of fleshy pink and periwinkle blue.

Ranging from absurdly funny to disquietingly erotic, Wesley's reductive paintings warrant comparison to Alex Katz, William Copley, and Roy Lichtenstein. Despite the obvious associations with Pop art, Wesley maintained a close association with the Minimalist artists Dan Flavin, Robert Ryman, and Donald Judd, who permanently ensconced Wesley's work at his Chinati Foundation in Marfa, Texas. Wesley has been the subject of one-person exhibitions at MoMA PS1, the Fogg Art Museum, the Stedlijk Museum, Portikus, and the San Giorgio Maggiore in Venice.