John Tweddle

JOHN TWEDDLE (b.1938, Pinckneyville, KY) is an American painter celebrated for his commentative, folkloric paintings from the 1960s and 1970s. A Kentucky native, Tweddle moved to New York City in the late 1960s after some cajoling from legendary gallerist and friend Richard Bellamy. Tweddle’s work from this period is hailed for its authentic representation of the American experience and its exploration of class, capitalism, and the commodification of art. Featuring psychedelic arrays of color and textured cross hatches, Tweddle’s paintings house a myriad of motifs drawn from the popular iconography of his era and Southern culture, including dollar signs, peace signs, trucks, naked women, as well as the ironic insertion of words like “ART” and “SOLD” into several of his pieces. Drawing inspiration from the traditions of cartoons, comic design, and “low art” mediums, Tweddle juxtaposes his intellectually astute examinations of American society with the accessibility and relatability of his visuals, resulting in deeply nuanced works. Tweddle’s paintings eventually caught the eye of Robert C. Scull, a long-time art advocate and ardent collector who was among the earliest to champion artists such as Andy Warhol, Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg, and James Rosenquist. Considered a bit of an outsider artist in the New York art scene, Tweddle left the city by 1980 and moved to New Mexico, where he currently resides and continues to paint to this day.

Tweddle’s work can be found in the permanent collections of MoMA and the Metropolitan Museum of Art and has been featured in exhibitions at MoMA PS1, the High Museum of Art, the St. Louis Museum of Art, Emory University, Museo Rufino Tamayo, and the Bonnefantenmuseum. In addition to being presented at international art fairs like Art Basel, Tweddle’s work has been shown at galleries including David Whitney Gallery, the Mayor Gallery, Blum-Helman Gallery, David Nolan Gallery, and Kayne Griffin Gallery. Tweddle has also been honored with two grants from the National Endowment for the Arts over the course of his unabating, impressive career.

(Photo Credit: The Mayor Gallery)