Wesley Duke Lee | Almeida & Dale

Wesley Duke Lee

São Paulo - São Paulo, 1931 São Paulo - São Paulo, 2010

Restless and controversial, Wesley Duke was one of the most active artists in São Paulo’s cultural scene of the 1960s and 1970s. In 1963, together with a group of young artists, he performed O Grande Espetáculo das Artes (The Great Arts Show), one of the first happenings in Brazil. In the same decade, he formed the group Magic Realism, whose figurative aesthetics countered the hegemony of concretism and abstractionism prevailing in Brazilian art at the time. He was part of the Rex Group, together with Geraldo de Barros, Nelson Leirner, Jose Resende, Carlos Fajardo and Frederico Nasser, which satirized the art market.

Touches of humor and a close affinity with Pop aesthetics mark this artist's work. His paintings, prints and silkscreens create dialogue with the aesthetics of advertising and comic strips and incorporate a strong influence of pioneers such as Rauschenberg (1925 - 2008). The artist broadened his references, using cartography, oriental calligraphy and botanical drawings, and also explored installation in works, such as O Trapézio ou Uma Confissão (The Trapeze or A Confession) (1966) and O Helicóptero (The Helicopter) (1967).

Duke Lee won the international painting prize at the 8th Tokyo Biennale and had a solo exhibition at the Tokyo Gallery, Japan's top gallery. In 1966, O Trapézio ou Uma Confissão was exhibited at the Brazilian pavilion at the 33rd Venice Biennale.

O tríptico de 5 partes ou Obrigado Japão!, 1965

oil and collage on canvas
51 ⅛ x 38 ¼ inch [130 x 97 cm] (each)

A Zona: I Ching, 1964

oil and collage on canvas
33 ⅛ x 20 ½ inch [84 x 52 cm]

Preparation drawing for a drawing, 1966

mixed media on paper
22 ⅞ x 17 ¾ inch [58 x 45 cm]

O Filiarcado, 1999

mortar, oil pastel on canvas Edition: 12/29
101 ⅛ x 89 ⅜ inch [257 x 227 cm]

Os Trabalhos de Eros - O Músico, 1991

digital painting acrylic, pastel and wax pencil on canvas
49 ¾ x 58 ¼ inch [126,5 x 148 cm]

Os Trabalhos de Eros - O Ferreiro, 1991

digital painting acrylic, pastel and wax pencil on canvas
50 ⅝ x 58 ¼ inch [128,5 x 148 cm]
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