Wesley Duke Lee was a pioneer in incorporating the themes and language of Pop Art in Brazil. In 1963, he created the magic realism movement with Maria Cecília (1928- ), Pedro Manuel-Gismondi (1925-1999), Otto Stupakoff (1935- ) and Carlos Felipe Saldanha. The figurative aspect of the movement was an alternative to the academicisation of Abstractionism within Brazil.
Also in 1963, he taught artists such as Carlos Fajardo (1941- ), Frederico Nasser (1945- ), José Resende (1945- ) and Luiz Paulo Baravelli (1942- ). Duke Lee worked intensively with these pupils for some two years. In 1966, Fajardo, Resende, Nasser and Lee formed the Rex Group, together with Geraldo de Barros (1923-1998) and Nelson Leirner (1932- ). During the period, the painter's work moved out of the plane into three-dimensional space. Works such as O Trapézio ou Uma Confusão [The Trapeze or a Confusion], 1966 and O Helicóptero [The Helicopter], 1967 are already structured as environments. In 1967, he took part in the 9th São Paulo International Bienal. Two years later, he moved to California, where he carried out experiments with new technologies and lectured at the University of Southern California in Irvine. During the 1970s, he worked with other traditions, such as cartography, oriental calligraphy and botanic drawings.