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John Wesley (1928-)
Getting off the subway at St. Tropez - 1993 - color silkscreen on paper 1/75 - 75x90cm - John Wesley (1928 - )
I got to know Jack Wesley and his wife, Hannah Green during my first trip to Conques in France during the mid-eighties of the last century. Jack and Hannah were spending their summers in a friends house on the rue Charlemagne, the old steep, cobblestone entrance road which the pilgrims had used. If I remember right he had a sign on the gate reading folding boat company. Hannah was writing a book on Sainte Foy, who was beheaded in the fourth century for refusing to deny her faith before a Roman consul. The basilica of Conques was built on the gold reliquary of Sainte Foy. The Abbey-Church of Saint-Foy was a popular stop for pilgrims on their way to Santiago de Compostela, in what is now Spain. We first saw the church when the traces of the pilgrims were still visible where they had worn parts of the architecture smooth. During the next years some of these elements, such as the leaves on the bases of the columns, were renewed and this part of its history was erased.
The next year I told Jack I was going to meet Don Judd at the opening of Barnett Newman's exhibition in Mönchengladbach a week or so after returning home. Jack happened to be old friends with Don. He asked me to say hello. I later traded one of my Rietveld pews for one of Judd's wall pieces.
The next time we met was in 1993 at the opening of his "A Retrospective" show in the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam. The museum was selling prints from his "Getting off the subway at St. Tropez" silkscreen edition, which still had to be signed by John. So he sat down and signed the first one for me.