American artist James Welling (born 1951) is widely recognized for making deadpan, and yet deeply layered figurative and abstract images, hoping that viewers will unfold and untangle them over time. Welling believes that photographs are much more than a simple record of what you see when you first approach them.
Since the late 1970s, Welling has attempted to bridge the chasm between the modernist photography that fascinated him as a young artist and the conceptual framework that shaped his artistic practice at California Institute of the Arts (CalArts), where he studied and earned his BFA and MFA in the 1970s.
Welling has made of the history of photography a constant point of reference in a career spanning four decades. His deep knowledge of the medium has allowed him to question it from within, and to experiment freely with multiple technologies and processes to push its limits and those of its most familiar categories: landscape, still life, documentary and abstraction.
To coincide with the artist's visit as the inaugural speaker of the Monsen Photography Lecture, the Henry presents a focused exhibition highlighting Welling's interest in the subjectivity and emotion of time and place. The selection of works in photography and video in the show span three decades, highlighting his contributions to photography and his presence in the museum's and local private collections.
Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website