John Tweddle American, b. 1938


John Tweddle moved to New York from his Kentucky hometown in 1969. Considered by most as an ‘outsider artist’, his works mostly explore ideas of class and his own identity growing up as a Southerner. Drawing a lot from the culture of his era, Tweddle’s paintings often depict naked women, trucks and peace signs.


Influential art advocate Robert Scull, among the first to champion artists like Andy Warhol, Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg, and James Rosenquist avidly collected many of Tweddle’s naive, folkloric paintings and drawings. Strongly coloured and patterned with recurring motifs like dollar signs and crosshatching, 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.


Tweddle’s authentic representation of the American experience far removed from the New York’s cultural establishment highlighted 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.


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.