Since the late 1970s, Los Angeles-based James Welling’s interest in the meaning and nature of photography has led him to explore subjects and photographic techniques that push the boundaries of the medium technically and conceptually. Welling was on hand at Art Metropole to sign copies of his latest book, Abstract, the 124-page catalogue accompanying his exhibition at the Art Gallery of York University, which opened November 13th, 2002.
In addition to the book signing, Art Metropole highlighted their fund-raising photo edition that includes Welling’s 1998 photograph Garden.
James Welling (American, b.1951) is a photographer best known for his photographs of everyday materials such as phyllo dough and aluminum foil. Born in Hartford, CT, Welling studied drawing at Carnegie Mellon University and video at the California Institute of the Arts. Important artistic influences include the work of Edward Hopper, Andrew Wyeth, and John Baldessari. Although he never formally studied photography, Welling set up a darkroom in 1976 and began learning about printing and developing with a series of architectural photographs of Los Angeles, CA. He started his early series Diary/Landscape in 1977, photographs of Connecticut landscapes paired with parts of his great-great-grandparentsâ€™ diaries from 1840. Welling has experimented with a range of photographic techniques, including gelatin silver prints, photograms, Polaroids, and digital prints. In 1978, Welling moved to New York, NY, and during the 1980s, he worked on several series of abstract photographs, which depict materials such as drapery, aluminum foil, and ink infused gelatin. After he moved to Los Angeles, Welling produced photograms such as his series called Torsos 2005/2008, which was shown at the Whitney Biennial, in New York, in 2008. From 2006 to 2009, Welling photographed Philip Johnsonâ€™s Glass House in Connecticut using filters of various colors. He has also worked with the digital alteration techniques using Maya and Photoshop, evident in the series War (2005) and Quadrilaterals (2005). In 1985, Welling received the National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship. His work is currently held in several collections, including the Museum of Modern Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. He is represented by the David Zwirner Gallery in New York. He lives and works in Los Angeles, CA.
3: Artist James Wellington (left) and guest.