This generously illustrated book examines a series of color photographs by Los Angeles–based artist James Welling, who turned to the painter Andrew Wyeth for inspiration.
As a conceptual artist who is deeply interested in the genesis of representation, Welling began this series of photographs as an examination of Andrew Wyeth’s influence on his own work, from Welling’s earliest watercolors in the 1960s through his recent photographs. Shot on location in Pennsylvania and Maine—in the same areas where Wyeth painted throughout his life—this major series includes photographs from 2010 through 2014. In addition to including never-before-seen works from the completed Wyeth series, the book explores the mechanisms of influence of one artist upon another—even across media—ranging from subconscious borrowings to more direct appropriations. Using color photography, Welling evokes Wyeth’s aesthetic, particularly the importance of place in his work. Paying homage to Wyeth’s practice of manipulating subject matter in his seemingly realistic paintings, Welling digitally altered his photographs in subtle ways. This book provides a fascinating look at a major new series by a leading contemporary artist, and allows for fresh and insightful connections to Andrew Wyeth.
Philipp Kaiser has been a curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art is Los Angeles since 2007. From 2001 through 2007 he was Curator at the Museum für Gegenwartskunst in Basel. He has written numerous contributions on contemporary art and has curated solo-exhibitions with Louise Lawler, Johanna Billing, Christian Philipp Müller, Simon Starling, Amelie von Wulffen, Sterling Ruby amongst others but also large-scale thematic exhibitions like »Flashback – Revisiting the Art of the 80s« and »Index – California Conceptualism«. He is currently working on the first American retrospective of Jack Goldstein. Philipp Kaiser will assume the post of Director of the Museum Ludwig in Cologne in late 2012.
SUZANNE HUDSON is a critic and art historian and is currently Associate Professor of Art History and Fine Arts at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles.