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Elaborate good humor to downright damned foolishness in Western visi ble arts is scarce. Jack Wesley can deal them with weird eccentric precisio n––just about as well as any artist whom I know. And he has a long\, irreve rent history to prove it all. I salute you\, dear Jack\, as one hell of a s ly wise painterly adept. So Paul Klee to you\, good guy. 
––Dan Flavin\, in John Wesley Painting s\, exhibition catalogue\, The Chinati Foundation\, Marfa\, 1990.

David Kordansky Gall ery is extremely pleased to announce Objects and Paint ings\, an exhibition of work by John Wesley. The exhibition opens on May 18 and runs through July 6\; an opening recept ion will be held on Saturday\, May 18 from 6:00 until 9:00 pm. This is the artist's first exhibition at the gallery. 

Objects and Paintings includes paintings and sc ulptures from several periods in Wesley's career\; all of them point to the "eccentric precision\," as Flavin described it\, that has made him one of the most indispensible American artists of the post-war period. Over the co urse of his half-century career\, Wesley has created an amalgamation of min imalist\, surrealist\, and pop vocabularies that taps into the cultural unc onscious. His formal universe\, which is predicated on patterning\, seriali ty\, and a particularly deliberate use of line and color\, brings together references and images of all kinds.

As such\, the rarely seen sculptures on view in the exhibition shed light on the paintings for which Wesley is best known. Essentially pai ntings in their own right\, they provided the artist with the opportunity t o apply his imagery to readymade objects. In Bird Lovers (1973)\, two of Wesley's iconic pink females bow toward one another in perfect compo sitional symmetry while a pink bird hovers atop the blue expanse of a motor cycle helmet. The nude figures suggest a complex attitude toward eroticism: sulky\, submissive\, and titillating but also wild and free\, tied to the moment's easy rider counterculture.

In this regard\, the objects become a means of further explorin g the psychosexual motifs of Wesley's work—extra hardware in his cultural t oolbox. Other sculptures include two riffs on the bikini\, a table\, a nutc racker\, and a 'folding boat' fashioned of unstructured canvas. The latter functions both as a pop-inflected soft form reminiscent of Oldenburg as wel l as a kind of critique of the unassailable status of the objective\, neutr al support in painting. Gestures like these show Wesley circumventing the g rand narratives of modernist art historical development in order to create what Dave Hickey has described as a contemporary American form of allegory\ , "the restoration of traditional genre in cartoon drag."

The paintings on view\, made during the l ate 1990s and early 2000s\, demonstrate the fluidity with which Wesley is a ble to address a variety of subjects and moods. Woman on Top\, fro m 1996\, is an erotic picture whose strength of line and composition make i t feel like a landscape of flesh\; despite its flatness and monochromatic b ackground\, it boasts a complex series of negative spaces and a surprisingl y layered sense of perspective.

Chocolate Major\, meanwhile\, depicts the upper third of a nude woman against a preternaturally blue sky and a lawn of green grass. T he lower part of her body is obscured by the flat brown bust of a man who\, despite the economy with which he is rendered\, peers out from the picture plane as if he were suspicious of the whole endeavor\, whatever that endea vor might be. Wesley's dream-like logic (puns\, both visual and linguistic\ , are pervasive in the works themselves and their titles) puts forth a vern acular surrealism that takes culture at its word\, and responds so literall y to its prompts that its subjects emerge transformed\, more familiar and m ore strange. Wesley's figures\, in all their ambiguity\, are metaphors\, av atars or vessels of a culture's confused libido. 

John Wesley's work has been the subject of numero us solo exhibitions since the early 1960s. Surveys have been held at the St edelijk Museum\, Amsterdam\; the Chinati Foundation\, Marfa\; MoMA PS1\, Lo ng Island City\; the Fogg Art Museum at Harvard University\, Cambridge\, MA \; and Kunsthalle Nuremberg\, among other venues. In 2009\, the Fondazione Prada presented a solo exhibition of Wesley's work during the Venice Bienna le\, which was accompanied by an expansive catalog edited by Germano Celant . Since 2004\, the Chinati Foundation has maintained a permanent gallery ho using its collection of Wesley's paintings\, as was intended by Judd since the foundation's inception. Wesley lives and works in New York.

DTEND:20130706 DTSTAMP:20141128T012609 DTSTART:20130518 GEO:34.0544257;-118.3432562 LOCATION:David Kordansky Gallery\,5130 W. Edgewood Place \nLos Angeles\, CA 90019 SEQUENCE:0 SUMMARY:Objects and Paintings\, John Wesley UID:272115 END:VEVENT BEGIN:VEVENT DTEND:20130518T210000 DTSTAMP:20141128T012609 DTSTART:20130518T180000 GEO:34.0544257;-118.3432562 LOCATION:David Kordansky Gallery\,5130 W. Edgewood Place \nLos Angeles\, CA 90019 SEQUENCE:0 SUMMARY:Objects and Paintings\, John Wesley UID:275775 END:VEVENT END:VCALENDAR