James Welling: Photographs 1974-1999

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9781881390251: James Welling: Photographs 1974-1999

Essays by Michael Fried and Sarah J. Rogers. Foreword by Sherri Geldin.

This exhibition catalogue brings together a comprehensive selection of American photographer James Welling's images from the past 25 years, offering the opportunity for an in-depth study of the complex and mutable priorities upon which this work builds its strength. The different series of works complement and contrast one another as a network of associations, rather than a linear chronology. For example, we see the on-going tension between the representational power of photography and its pictorial purity (or abstraction) when moving from the images of railroads to his pictures of crumpled fabric and foil imaginary landscapes. And most recently, the "Light Sources" pictures embrace a wide range of associations from the world observed or natural, the sun shining through a thicket of trees, to the world engineered or mediated, a mosaic of ceiling lights. Essays by Michael Fried and Sarah Rogers focus on individual images from different series as well as varied preoccupations from the past three decades.

"Welling's images remain a mystery, a brush with the uncanny that reaches back to childhood, when the elusiveness of the meaning of many things engendered a mixture of fantasy and fear." Carol Squiers, Grand Street

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About the Author:

James Welling was born in Hartford, Connecticut in 1951. In recent years his photographs have been featured in numerous solo and group exhibitions worldwide. His work is held in many private and public collections, including the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, and the Whitney Museum of Art, New York.

Review:

While Welling's work seems to support the modernist belief that photography can help us understand and refine perception, the artist continually introduces a (postmodern) gap between the image and what is depicted, severing the signifier from its referent, so as to suggest the weakening purchase of the real and concomitant triumph of the simulacrum. (Matthew Biro Artforum International 2013-07-01)

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