The Mind on Fire
James Welling, Diary Landscape (A15), 1977-86. Gelatin silver contact print. Image © and courtesy the artist.
James Welling, Diary Landscape (105), 1977-86. Gelatin silver contact print. Image © and courtesy the artist.
The Mind on Fire
14 September - 25 November 2012
American artist James Welling (b.1951) emerged as an important figure in the 'Pictures Generation', an influential group of artists working in New York in the 1980s, famous for their pioneering use of photography. This exhibition brings together a hundred and fifty of Welling’s early, experimental and abstract works from this period.
Welling tested the mechanical and technical parameters of photography, from making his own camera out of a shoe box to using a wide range of film and papers or even making photographs without using cameras at all. This period of intense experimentation generated numerous collages, paintings, notes and ephemera before culminating in a number of iconic series: minutely crumpled aluminium foil evoking starry skies or lunar landscapes; luxurious drapes sprinkled with dough suggesting snow-capped mountain ridges; and abstract colourfields appearing as sun-drenched horizons.
By focussing on simple, repetitive motifs Welling sought to remove photography from its subject, in order to trigger personal associations in the viewer and to explore how we see, rather than what we see.
About the Artist
James Welling was born in Hartford, Connecticut, USA in 1951. He gained a B.F.A. and M.F.A. from the influential art school CalArts (California Institute of Fine Arts), where he studied under artist John Baldessari, alongside contemporaries that included David Salle, Matt Mullican and Jack Goldstein. In 1995 Welling moved to Los Angeles to head the photography area of the Art Department of UCLA, where he continues to live and work.
James Welling will give a public talk about his work on Saturday 13 October at 2pm. Earlier in the day the gallery will be hosting a Portfolio session, with several experts on hand to offer professional advice on photographers’ portfolios.
Welling exhibition in New York
Overflow (7 September - 27 October) at David Zwirner Gallery. Details HERE.
Film Screening: Alma Mater
Exhibition Opening: James Welling
Henri Cartier Bresson - The Impassioned Eye
Fur: An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus
Listening Event: The Nova Convention
Stranger than Paradise (1984)
Film Screening: Two Moon July
Eloge de L'amour (2001)
Photography Portfolio Reviews
Last Year at Marienbad (1961)
Half Term Workshop
Broken Flowers (2005)
Wild Style (1983)
Talk/Performance: Elena Cologni: L'Elastico
City of God (2002)
Milton Keynes Film Makers Network Event