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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

EDUCATION

1966-68                                   
Atlanta School of Art
1958-62                  
Kansas City Art Institute

 

SELECTED SOLO EXHIBITIONS

2014                         
Kayne Griffin Corcoran, Los Angeles, CA

2009                        
Works on Paper from the Scull Collection 1966-1973, The Mayor Gallery, London, England

2004                        
Strehlgasse 20, Zurich, Switzerland

1999                        
In Memory of Robert C. Scull, Retrospective at MoMA P.S.1, New York, NY

1994                         
Nations Bank Plaza, Atlanta, GA

1992                         
Trinity Gallery, Atlanta, GA

1991                         
30 Year Retrospective, Lamar Dodd Art Center, La Grange, GA

1985                         
Caroline Lee Gallery, San Antonio, TX
Texas Gallery, Houston, TX

1983                         
Blum Helman Gallery, New York, NY

1976                         
Solway Gallery, New York, NY

1975                         
Carl Solway Gallery, Cincinnati, OH

1974                         
Walter Kelly Gallery, Chicago, IL

1973                         
James Corcoran Gallery, Los Angles, CA
The Greenberg Gallery, St. Louis, MO

1972                         
LoGuidice Gallery, New York, NY

1971                          
The Hellman Gallery, St. Louis, MO

1970                         
David Whitney Gallery, New York, NY

1968                         
Noah Goldowsky Gallery, New York, NY

1967                         
Illien Gallery, Atlanta, GA
Clark College, Atlanta, GA

1966                        
14th Street Gallery, Atlanta, GA

1965                         
Judith Alexander Gallery, Atlanta, GA

1964                         
Adair Gallery, Atlanta, GA

1963                         
State Line Gallery, Kansas City, MO

 

SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS

2010                         
The Visible Vagina, David Nolan Gallery, New York, NY

2009                        
Exile on Main St., Humour, Exaggeration & Anarchy in American art, Bonnefantenmuseum, Maastricht, The Netherlands

1992                         
Tampa Museum of Art, Tampa, FL
Greenville County Museum of Art, Greenville, SC
Madison Art Center, Madison, WI
Grand Rapids Art Museum, Grand Rapids, MI

1991                         
Philbrook Museum, Tulsa, OkOK
Joslyn Art Museum, Omaha, NE
Center for Fine Arts, Miami, FL

1987                         
Texas Artists. James Corcoran Gallery, New York, NY
Texas Artists. James Corcoran Gallery, Santa Monica, CA

1986                         
Blue Star Exhibition of San Antonio Artists, Blue Star Art Space, TX
Gallery Collection, Charles Cowles Gallery, New York, NY

1985                         
Texas Currents, S.A. Art Institute, San Antonio, TX
Group Show, Texas Gallery, Houston, TX

1984                         
Landscape Painter, Ducal Palace (grand opening), Gubbio, Italy
New Narrative Painters, Tamayo Museum, Mexico City, Mexico

1983                         
Recent Acquisitions, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY

1981                          
Contemporary Paintings and Sculptures #1, Oil and Steel, New York, NY

1980                         
Pattern into Painting, P.S.1, New York, NY

1973                         
Movers: New Artists, Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY

1972                         
Contemporary American Artist, The Saint Louis Art Museum, St. Louis, MO

1971                          
Contemporary American Drawings, French and Co. Inc., New York, NY

1970                         
Summer Exhibition of Painting and Sculpture, French and Co. Inc. New York, NY

1969                        
The High Museum of Art, Atlanta, GA
Arp to Artschwager, 3rd Annual Noah Goldowsky Gallery, New York, NY

1968                         
NEA Grants to Southwest Artists, Witte Museum, San Antonio, TX
Arp to Artschwager, 2nd Annual Noah Goldowsky Gallery, New York, NY

 

AWARDS AND GRANTS

1986                         
National Endowment for the Arts
Pollock-Krasner Foundation

1985                         
Robert C. Scull Foundation for the Arts

1967                         
National Endowment for the Arts

 

PUBLIC COLLECTIONS

Atlanta School of Art, Atlanta, GA
Boca Raton Museum of Art, Boca Raton, FL
Emory University, Atlanta, GA
Fulton County Library, Atlanta, GA
Georgia Art Commission, Atlanta, GA
High Museum of Art, Atlanta, GA
Institute of Art and Urban Resources, New York The Robert Scull Foundation, New York, NY
Kansas City Art Institute, Kansas City, MO
Lamar Dodd Art Center, La Grange, GA
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY
Morris Museum of Art, Atlanta, GA
Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia, Atlanta, GA
The Saint Louis Museum of Art, St. Louis, MO
Southwest Museum of Art, Corpus Christi, TX
Witherspoon Art Center, Greensboro, NC