Flash Back to the ’70s with John Wesley

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A pop art pioneer whose works are equally minimal and surreal, Los Angeles-born, idiosyncratic painter John Wesley is back on view in his 34th solo show in New York since 1963. Rather than presenting new pieces this time around, however, Wesley’s show at Fredericks & Freiser offers a fresh look at seminal paintings from the early 1970s, a playful period in the artist’s quirky body of work. His “superflat” pictures— created long before Takashi Murakami coined the term — portray vampires, soldiers, perverts, vamps, and slaves. With a succinct style and limited palette, Wesley’s psychologically charged images capture whimsical moments that are ultimately timeless.

Presenting 12 paintings, John Wesley: May I Cut In? Important Paintings from the Early 70’s, runs through June 26 at Fredericks & Freiser in the Chelsea Arts District of New York.

Click through below for a gallery of selected works.

John Wesley, Suzanna and The Lugosis (May I Cut In?), 1972. Acrylic on canvas, 50 x 37 inches, Courtesy Fredericks & Freiser, New York

John Wesley, Canada's Toughest Soldier, 1973. Acrylic on canvas, 40.5 x 58.5 inche, Courtesy Fredericks & Freiser, New York

John Wesley, John Dillinger's Last Ride, 1970. Acrylic on canvas, 30 x 50 inches, Courtesy Fredericks & Freiser, New York

John Wesley, Leche, 1973. Acrylic on canvas, 47 x 54 inches, Courtesy Fredericks & Freiser, New York

John Wesley, Leda and The Man, 1972. Acrylic on canvas, 40 x 58 inches, Courtesy Fredericks & Freiser, New York

John Wesley, Munich: Summer 1919, 1971. Acrylic on canvas, 31 x 18 inches, Courtesy Fredericks & Freiser, New York

John Wesley, Mail Order Blues, 1972. Acrylic on canvas, 40 x 40 inches, Courtesy Fredericks & Freiser, New York

John Wesley, Not in Ginos, 1972. Acrylic on canvas, 32 x 56 inches, Courtesy Fredericks & Freiser, New York

John Wesley, Slave, 1971. Acrylic on canvas, 33 x 64 inches, Courtesy Fredericks & Freiser, New York

John Wesley, Sleep, 1971. Acrylic on canvas, 44 x 44 inches, Courtesy Fredericks & Freiser, New York

John Wesley, The Last Grey Hound, 1971. Acrylic on canvas, 33 x 64 inches, Courtesy Fredericks & Freiser, New York

John Wesley, Whiskey, 1973. Acrylic on canvas, 48.5 x 47 inches, Courtesy Fredericks & Freiser, New York