Wally Hedrick

American

(1928 – 2003)

Biography

Wally Hedrick was a seminal American artist in the 1950s California counterculture, gallerist, and educator who came to prominence in the early 1960s. Hedrick’s contributions to art include pioneering artworks in psychedelic light art, mechanical kinetic sculpture, junk/assemblage sculpture, Pop Art, and (California) Funk Art. Later in his life, he was a recognized forerunner in Happenings, Conceptual Art, Bad Painting, Neo-Expressionism, and image appropriation.

Hedrick was known for his stylistically diverse paintings focused unflinchingly and humorously on three main topics—politics, sex, and religion—Wally Hedrick was anti-establishment to his core, and once summed up his career with: “I don’t think of this as a profession; I’m a used-car salesman.” Starting in the late 1940s and ’50s, he responded to world events through art. A veteran of the Korean War, he was particularly contemptuous of America’s ongoing conflicts. Hedrick was at the heart of the Beat Movement and was one of the founders of San Francisco’s 6 Gallery, where his close friend Allen Ginsberg first read “Howl.” With his affinity for Marcel Duchamp and the Dadaists, he was a foe to politicians—he depicted Richard Nixon as a giant phallus—mass media, the art market, and consumer culture, remaining sharply critical until the end of his life.

Collections

Museum of Modern Art, NY
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
Oakland Museum of California
di Rosa Preserve, Napa
San Jose Museum of Art
Berkeley Art Museum, University of California
Phoenix Art Museum
Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco- de Young Museum
Sonoma State Univerity, Santa Rosa
Mills College, Oakland
San Francisco Art Commission Civic Art Collection

Selected Solo Exhibitions
2016 The Absence of Light: Black Paintings (1957-2003), The Box, Los Angeles
2010Wally Hedrick, The Box, Los Angeles
2008Wally Hedrick: War Room, The Box, Los Angeles
2007Wally Hedrick: Estate Sale, Michael Kohn Galley, Los Angeles
2003Wally Hedrick, Linc Art, San Francisco
Wally Hedrick: Pre-emptive Peace, Sonoma State University Art Gallery
2000Wally Hedrick: Paintings, Gallery Paule Anglim, San Francisco
1999Wally Hedrick: Provisions, Sonoma Museum of Visual Art, Santa Rosa
1996Wally Hedrick: Madonnas, Gods & Goddesses, King-Heller Gallery, Bodega Bay
1994Classic Hedrick, Mills College Art Gallery, Oakland
Wally Hedrick: Paintings, Gallery Paule Anglim, San Francisco
1990Wally Hedrick: Paintings, Gallery Paule Anglim, San Francisco
1985Wally Hedrick: Selected Works, San Francisco Art Institute (catalogue)
1984Wally Hedrick, Gallery Paule Anglim, San Francisco
1982Wally Hedrick, Gallery Paule Anglim, San Francisco
1967Wally Hedrick, San Francisco Art Institute
1963Wally Hedrick, New Mission Gallery, San Francisco

Selected Group Exhibitions
2019Artists Respond: American Art and the Vietnam War, 1965 – 1975, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington DC
Dilexi Gallery: Seeking the Unknown, co-curated with Laura Whitcomb, Parker Gallery, Los Angeles
2018Walking Point, Greene Naftali, New York, NY
2017Animal Farm, curated by Sadie Laska, The Brand Foundation, Greenwich, CT 
The Rat Bastard Protective Association
, curated by Anastasia Aukeman, Susan Inglett Gallery, New York, NY
Bruno Serralongue and Wally Hedrick, Air de Paris, Paris, France
2016The Rat Bastard Protective Association, curated by Anastasia Aukeman, The Landing Gallery, Los Angeles
2013SIGHT / VISION: The Urban Milieu, Gallery Paule Anglim, San Francisco
2012Painting, The Box, Los Angeles, CA
Renaissance on Fillmore, 1955–1965, curated by Michael Schwager. DiRosa, Napa, California
The Historical Box curated by Mara McCarthy, Hauser & Wirth, London
The Historical Box, curated by Mara McCarthy, Hauser & Wirth, Zurich
2011Wally Hedrick and William T. WileyThe Mayor Gallery, London.
Beyond Tradition: Art Legacies at the Richmond Art Center, in celebration of the Richmond Art Center’s 75th Anniversary.
2010Sunless, curated by Walead Beshty Thomas Dane Gallery, London
I.G.Y. curated by Todd Levin.  Marianne Boesky Gallery, New York
Oakland Museum of California Grand Reopening May 2010
2011Bella Pacifica, Bay Area Abstraction, 1946-1963, A Symphony in Three Parts, David Nolan Gallery, New York; Nyehaus, New York; Franklin Parrasch Gallery, New York
2009Looking For Mushrooms–Beat Poets, Funk and Minimal Art: Art and Counterculture in San Francisco around 1968, Museum Ludwig, Cologne Sight Vision Revisited, Gallery Paule Anglim, San Francisco
2008Mysteries, curated by Melissa E. Feldman, Stephen Wirtz Gallery, San Francisco
Paul McCarthy’s Low Life Slow Life: Part 1, CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, San Francisco
Freedom of Expression: Political Art in an Age of Uncertainty, University Art Gallery, Sonoma State University
American Pop, Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento
2007 The Creamery: FUNK ART etc from Bodega, the 8 gallery, San Francisco
Artists of Invention: A Century of CAA, Oakland Museum of California
2005The True Artist is an Amazing Luminous Fountain: Selected Works from the di Rosa Preserve, Napa. Traveled to Washington, D.C., Palm Springs, CA, Santa Cruz, CA (catalogue)
1995–96Beat Culture and the New America 1950-65, Whitney Museum of American Art. Traveled to Minneapolis, San Francisco (catalogue)
1992Sight/Vision: The Urban Milieu III, Gallery Paule Anglim, San Francisco
1990The Six Gallery, Natsoulas-Novelozo Gallery, Davis (catalogue)
1986Sight/Vision: The Urban Milieu II, Gallery Paule Anglim, San Francisco
1986The Spiritual in Art: Abstract Painting 1890-1986, Los Angeles CountyMuseum of Art (catalogue)
19862nd Annual Newport Biennial: The Bay Area, Newport Harbor Art Museum, Newport Beach (catalogue)
1983Sight/Vision: The Urban Milieu, Gallery Paule Anglim, San Francisco
1976The Modern Era: Painting and Sculpture in California, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (catalogue)
1974Poets of the Cities: New York & San Francisco 1950–1965, Dallas Museum of Art. Traveled to San Francisco, Hartford (catalogue)
1962New Paintings of Common Objects, Pasadena Art Museum
1959Sixteen Americans, Museum of Modern Art, New York (catalogue)

Wally Hedrick, 1952, 39.5″ x 33.5″

Wally Hedrick, 1956, 31” x 37”