TRAJETÓRIA CRONOLÓGICA

1931
 

December 21st 1931, the artist Wesley Duke Lee was born in São Paulo, son of William Bowman Lee Jr and Odila de Oliveira Lee.

Birth Date:21/12/1930, Time:5:33, Country:Brazil, state or Region:SÃO PAULO, Location:SAO PAULO.Graphic Coordinates:23.32 S 46.37 W, Time Zone:Other, Special Code:Standard Time.GMT Difference = 3:00. Sideral Time Used for House Calculations Was 0:25:34. This is a Tropical Zodiac.

 
1950
At the age of sixteen, Wesley began his art studies joining freehand drawing classes at São Paulo Museum of Art. Two years later, after exhibiting his works at the 11th Paulista’s Contemporary Art Salon, he traveled to the USA where he took the Graphic Arts course at Parsons School of Design. During his stay in the country, he got in touch with artists such as Marcel Duchamp, Jasper Johns and Robert Rauschenberg.

Wesley returned to Brazil in 1955, joined the first Advertising Salon in São Paulo where he received his two commendations and started working as a freelance advertising designer and art director in an agency in São Paulo.

Still in São Paulo he left the agency in 1957 and became Karl Plattner’s apprentice when he started painting at his atelier. A year later, in 1958, Wesley together with Plattner execute a mural painting for Air France, also in São Paulo. In the same year, Wesley went back to Paris to study at the engraver Johnny Friedlaender’s atelier. In 1959, Wesley traveled to Bolzano in Italy to work with Plattner on the Salzburg Neu Festspielhaus mural paintings in Austria.
1960
In the 60s, Wesley started exploring a very personal mythology in his works, starred by his alter ego, the Templar Arkadin. During the same period - one of the most hectic in the artist's career - he founded the Magic Realism movement and created one of his most controversial works: Série Das Ligas (1962).

In 1961 he had his first individual exhibition at Sistina Gallery in São Paulo and also received a commendation in the French advertising Oscar forthe work designed for Renault. Two years later, in 1963, he had his first individual exhibition in Europe, at the Sisitina Gallery in Milan. In August of the same year, Wesley founded the Magic Realism movement with the critic Pedro Manoel Dismondi, the painter Maria Cecília Gismondi, the photographer Otto Stupakoff and the writer Carlos Felipe Saldanha in São Paulo. Still in 1963 and in São Paulo, Wesley incited the first happening in Brazil by exhibiting the Série Das Ligas - which had been banned from museums and galleries – at João Sebastião Bar: with all the lights of the bar out, people appreciated the works of art with the help of flashlights.

In 1964 Wesley participated in several individual exhibitions like at Petite Gallery in Rio de Janeiro, at the Nebehay Gallery in Vienna and collective exhibitions like at Sta.Maria di Piazza Gallery. In the same year, he was admitted in Phases Group in Paris, which held his first exhibition at the Contemporary Art Museum in São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Belo Horizonte.

In 1965 he stayed in Japan for six months where he participated in the 8th Tokyo Biennial and received the International Art Promotion Award. During the same year Wesley participated in the notorious Opinião 65, at the Modern Art Museum of Rio de Janeiro, the exhibition which was decisive for the visual arts path in Brazil from that moment on and also brought the inspiration of Nova Figuração to Brazil. Also in 1965, he participated in an episode of the series The Creative Person, from the American National Educational Television station.

In 1966, Wesley founded the Rex Gallery with Nelson Leirner, Geraldo Barros, Frederico Nasser, Carlos Fajardo and José Rezende. It was a different cultural area, a vanguard gallery that reacted to the current systems. At the same period, he participated in several exhibitions at museums and galleries all over the world such as the Emergent Decade exhibition in Guggenheim (New York) and the 33th Venice Biennial.

In 1967, after a year of activities, the Rex Gallery is closed with an exhibition from Nelson Leirner and a happening: the Rex Group created several obstacles, chained all the works to the walls, flooded the rooms with water and offered the works of art to whom succeeded to take them. The general public, equipped with heavy tools and even acetylene, stripped the gallery and the exhibition finished in 8 minutes.

At the end of the decade, in 1969, he presented O Helicóptero at the Tokyo Museum of Modern Art.
1970
This decade, Wesley executed several portraits, considered a taboo at that time and a "non-artist” thing. He got inspiration and fell in love with the image of the other, he found faces of his own identity in the characters from his everyday life, as shown in the series O/Limpo (1971) and As Sombra Ações (1976).

He participated in various exhibitions in São Paulo at the beginning of the decade, as the individual exhibition named Iconografia Botânica, at the Ralph Camargo Gallery in 1970 and also the collective exhibitions Image du Bresil at the Manhattan Center in Brussels (1973).

Sometime later, in 1976, he exhibited As Sombra Ações at the Luisa Strina Gallery. In 1977, he created the series Caligrafia, ideograma, etc., which represented ironically the conceptual arts from that time and explored the qualities in the images of the written form. In 1978 he organized the Minha Viagem à Grécia no helicóptero de Leonardo da Vinci at the São Paulo Museum of Art, and later would become an album. The year after, 1979, he created the series Papéis and organized an exhibition at the CVM offices in Rio de Janeiro.
1980
Period when the artist carried out several experiments, researches and studies in less traditional ways at the time: the use of photocopies, graphic computers, scanner and video. This is the moment the studies for the preparation and organization of the series Os Trabalhos de Eros (1991) and O Filiarcado (1999/2000) begin.

In 1980 he exhibited the series Mapas at the Luisa Strina Gallery, consisted in works made with the frottage technique in cartographic sheets using magazines and wares, creating what was called a “zapping through a worldwide TV”. Later the series were gathered in an art book named Cartografia Anímica. In 1983, Fórum de Ipanema is created, an structure composed by neon drawings and asbestos concrete slabs, created to an 18-floor building which would be opened in Ipanema, Rio de Janeiro. In 1986 he exhibited the O triumpho de Maximiliano series, made and conceptualized since 1966 with the use of different techniques: from dip pen drawings to photocopies collage. In 1987 the Sequência do Corvo series, based on watercolor and inspired by Arcimboldo’s technique.
1990
In the 90s Wesley was invited by Casimiro Xavier de Mendonça to join the Brazilian representation in the 44th Venice Biennial he, then, projects the Fortaleza de Arkadin, a vulva shaped installation composed by big wood logs and photocopies. With this work, Wesley explores the mythology from the early 60s again however this time, instead of drawings and engravings, he expressed this universe through constructive ways and primitive materials. In 1991, he created Museu Imaginário do descobrimento da arte da pintura no Brasil em quatro séculos, ou a história de arte nos painéis do Metrô, a project for the Arte no Metrô program that builds a panel for Trianon-Masp station. This panel was composed by 123 Brazilian works of art. Made in scannaprint, this imaginary museum intended to take a bit from the museums vision to the people in order to take them to the exhibition rooms. In the same year, Wesley exhibited the series OsTrabalhos de Eros at the Kate Art Gallery in São Paulo and, a year later, in 1992 an individual exhibition was organized: his retrospective at São Paulo Museum of Art (MASP).

In 1999, following the conceptual line from OsTrabalhos de Eros, presented by the artist as the introduction to the child era, he exhibited the first part of the series O Filiarcado- Ensaio Alquímico, Albedo. The series is composed by 29 works conceived by Wesley after aligning several concepts, from rock paintings in Chauvet cavern, France, to engravings from children’s games reproduced by Jacques Stella (published in 1657).
2000
In the early 2000s, Wesley exhibited the second and third part of the series O Filiarcado: Rubedo and Nigredo, respectively.