118
118

THE HISTORY OF NOW: THE COLLECTION OF DAVID TEIGER

John Wesley
SHOWBOAT
Estimation
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Double Dagger
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Guaranteed Property
Guaranteed Property. The seller of lots with this symbol has been guaranteed a minimum price from one auction or a series of auctions. If every lot in a catalogue is guaranteed, the Conditions of Sale will so state and this symbol will not be used for each lot.
150 000200 000
Lot. Vendu 286,000 GBP (Prix d’adjudication avec commission acheteur)
ACCÉDER AU LOT
118

THE HISTORY OF NOW: THE COLLECTION OF DAVID TEIGER

John Wesley
SHOWBOAT
Estimation
Irrevocable Bids
Lots with this symbol indicate that a party has provided Sotheby’s with an irrevocable bid on the lot that will be executed during the sale at a value that ensures that the lot will sell. The irrevocable bidder, who may bid in excess of the irrevocable bid, will be compensated based on the final hammer price in the event he or she is not the successful bidder or may receive a fixed fee in the event he or she is the successful bidder. If the irrevocable bidder is the successful bidder, the fixed fee (if applicable) for providing the irrevocable bid may be netted against the irrevocable bidder’s obligation to pay the full purchase price for the lot and the purchase price reported for the lot shall be net of such fixed fee. If the irrevocable bid is not secured until after the printing of the auction catalogue, a pre-lot announcement will be made indicating that there is an irrevocable bid on the lot. If the irrevocable bidder is advising anyone with respect to the lot, Sotheby’s requires the irrevocable bidder to disclose his or her financial interest in the lot. If an agent is advising you or bidding on your behalf with respect to a lot identified as being subject to an irrevocable bid, you should request that the agent disclose whether or not he or she has a financial interest in the lot.
Double Dagger
Indicates that the lot is being sold whilst subject to Temporary Importation, and that VAT is due at the reduced rate
Guaranteed Property
Guaranteed Property. The seller of lots with this symbol has been guaranteed a minimum price from one auction or a series of auctions. If every lot in a catalogue is guaranteed, the Conditions of Sale will so state and this symbol will not be used for each lot.
150 000200 000
Lot. Vendu 286,000 GBP (Prix d’adjudication avec commission acheteur)
ACCÉDER AU LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Contemporary Art Day Auction

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Londres

John Wesley
B. 1928
SHOWBOAT

Provenance

Fredericks Freiser Gallery, New York
Acquired from the above by David Teiger in 2000

Exposition

New York, MOMA PS1, John Wesley: Paintings 1961 - 2000, September 2000 - January 2001, pp. 34, 134 and 138, illustrated

Description

John Wesley’s iconic work on canvas, Showboat, brilliantly exemplifies the artist’s relentlessly flattened forms, shallow perspective and bold colours in a style true to the American Pop Art movement of the Post-War period. The L.A. born, New York-based artist’s masterful expression of human emotion and fear is rendered here through a close-up view of two female figures, and the proximity of their faces to the viewer makes the portrait both profoundly intimate and psychologically ambiguous: Wesley’s image is ultimately “brought forth by obscure forces that are nevertheless always floating in the field of desire” (Germano Celant, ‘Sensual Appraisal’, in Exh. Cat., Venice, Fondazione Prada, John Wesley, 2009, p. XLII). At the precipice between abstraction and figuration, the artist’s paintings convey an intriguing sense of pictorial sophistication greatly indebted to the works of artist such as Roy Lichtenstein, James Rosenquist and Tom Wesselmann, particularly in their visual representations of the female body and psyche.

Art historian Kerstin Mey asserts, “Painted cut-out-like female figures by John Wesley, Tom Wesselmann’s American Nudes or Mel Ramos and James Rosenquist’s eroticised imageries, which objectify women in a pronounced manner, enlarging their sexual ‘selling points’, all functioned in a similar way. These ‘period’ pictures of eroticised, clichéd femininity, often unashamedly candid and exploitative, evolve from a sanitised and sterile hedonism of consumption that marked in particular the American version of 1960s and 1970s Pop Art…” (Kerstin Mey, Art and Obscenity, London 2007, p. 28). Thus Wesley not only recycles but also powerfully reconstructs earlier ideas about femininity, sexuality and gender, as though the clichés of popular culture in the sixties had been “dipped in the pool of the artist’s unconscious and come out soaked with private meanings, associations and feelings” (Ken Johnson cited in: Randy Kennedy, ‘Pop and Rococo Meet and Greet’, The New York Times, 8 June 2009, online). Wesley has created an oeuvre as expressive as it is spectacular, of which Showboat plays a transformative part.

Contemporary Art Day Auction

|
Londres