Ongoing since 2012, the Real DMZ Project interrogates the demilitarised zone (DMZ) between North and South Korea through annual, research-based exhibitions that bring together the works of Korean and international artists. Sunjung Kim, the independent curator behind the project, conceived the idea of exploring the DMZ while curating Japanese artist...
London's galleries and museums are gearing up for a lively October, with Frieze London and Frieze Masters running between 3 and 6 October 2019 at Regent's Park, along with 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair, taking place across the same dates at Somerset House; and the tenth anniversary of the Sunday Art Fair, showcasing new and emerging artists...
Mark Bradford walks through Mark Bradford: Los Angeles Mark Bradford: Los Angeles at the Long Museum West Bund in Shanghai (27 July–13 October 2019) is the artist's largest solo exhibition to date in China. In this video for Ocula, Bradford and Diana Nawi, curator of the show, walk through selected works that convey the artist's concerns with...
John Tweddle, born in Pinckneyville, Kentucky in 1938, moved to New York City as the 1960s drew to a close. His first exhibition at Green Gallery with legendary Richard Bellamy, who remained a staunch supporter the rest of his life, caught the attention of Robert Scull, an early champion of Jasper Johns, James Rosenquist and Andy Warhol. Scull proceeded to collect Tweddle’s work in depth.
Informed by his Southern childhood, Tweddle drew liberally from the 'low art' traditions of cartoons and comic books while mounting an intellectually rigorous exploration of capitalism, iconography and the counterculture revolution. The resultant work—bold, primal, deliberately naive—drew upon an authentic American experience far removed from the cultural loci of New York. However, as the decade wore on and Tweddle found himself more deeply entrenched in the artistic establishment, his canvases evinced a growing concern with the interplay of art and commerce. By 1980, Tweddle had retreated from New York’s cultural milieu, preferring instead to work in relative isolation.
These paintings from the 1960s and 1970s capture a particularly fertile period in the artist’s career. In Grace Glueck’s review of his 1983 exhibition at the Blum Helman Gallery, she notes that Tweddle’s 'structure is iconic, usually consisting of a vignette with a narrative subject, ringed by formal borders that incorporate all manner of signs and symbols.' Central among his recurring motifs is the dollar sign, which serves as a visual shorthand for Tweddle’s own discomfort with the commodification of art. Tweddle arranges these symbols of contemporary culture into intricate and meticulously plotted patterns reminiscent of patchwork quilting, navajo tapestry and aboriginal bark painting. Thus rooted in folk art tradition, Tweddle’s rough-edged brushwork and dusty palette of ochre and green render icons of the American landscape with a dark and chaotic complexity.
John Tweddle has exhibited at such institutions as MoMA P.S.1 and the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Bonnefantenmuseum, Maastricht and his work can be found in the permanent collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Tweddle, who has twice received grants from national endowment for the Arts, lives and works in New Mexico.
Born 1938, Pinckneyville, Kentucky
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