John Wesley - 20th Century & Contemporary Art Day Sale, Morning Session New York Wednesday, November 16, 2022 | Phillips

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  • From its two-toned color palette to the symmetrical oscillation of silhouetted female forms, Let’s Get Out of the Hall is a prime example of John Wesley’s work. Debuted at Kassel’s Documenta 5 in 1972, Let’s Get Out of the Hall illustrates Wesley’s unmatched ability to convey erotic desires and fears found deep within the human psyche.
    Inspired by Andy Warhol’s repeated Tomato Soup Cans, Giorgio de Chirico’s metaphysical paintings, and the comic strip Blondie, Wesley continually combined the characteristics of playful cartoons with tantalizing imagery that together draw the viewer into a sense of allurement. Let’s Get Out of the Hall tessellates the contour of female bare legs in a lyrical dance, while being pursued by an open-mouthed dalmation in a metaphorical erotic chase. Composed in his signature muted pinks against a powder blue backdrop, the contrastingly stark black contours position the work decidedly in the Pop canon, while retaining its unique Wesleyan qualities.

    "Wesley was intent rather on depicting the habits and common places with which we fill our lives as darkly humorous, and he did so with all conceivable visual cunning."–Martin Hentschel

    Andy Warhol, Campbell’s Soup Cans, 1962, The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Image: © The Museum of Modern Art/Licensed by SCALA / Art Resource, NY

    i Martin Hentschel, John Wesley’s Wondrous World, in John Wesley: The Bumsteads, Fredericks & Freiser, New York, 2007, p. 6.

    • Provenance

      Daniel Weinberg Gallery, Los Angeles
      Private Collection, Atlanta
      Kevin Bruk Fine Art
      Acquired from the above by the present owner

    • Exhibited

      Kassel, Documenta 5, June 30–October 5, 1972
      Los Angeles, Daniel Weinberg Gallery, Time and Again, June 15–July 20, July 2002

    • Literature

      José Pierre, An Illustrated Dictionary of Pop Art, London, 1977, p. 157 (illustrated)
      Christopher Knight, "Tim Bavington Sprays Exuberant, Visual Music," Los Angeles Times, July 12, 2002, online
      Germano Celant, ed., John Wesley, exh. cat., Fondazione Prada, Venice, 2009, no. 226, pp. 139, 508 (illustrated, p. 139)


Let's Get Out of the Hall

signed, titled and dated ""LET'S GET OUT OF THE HALL" John Wesley 1971" on the reverse
acrylic on canvas
36 x 47 in. (91.4 x 119.4 cm)
Painted in 1971.

Full Cataloguing

$90,000 - 120,000 

Sold for $157,500

Contact Specialist

Annie Dolan
Specialist, Head of Day Sale, Morning Session
+1 212 940 1288

20th Century & Contemporary Art Day Sale, Morning Session

New York Auction 16 November 2022