May 5 - July 16
Kunstforum Wien presents James Welling's first major European survey, featuring a selection of works by the American artist from the early 1970s to the present. Welling's practice, which reflects fundamental changes in photography during recent decades, shuffles the elemental components of the medium to produce distinctly uncompromising work.
The exhibition travels to Vienna from Ghent in Belgium, where it was presented at S.M.A.K. in Ghent, Belgium in January 2017. A publication accompanying the show features texts by Heike Eipeldauer, Hal Foster, and Martin Germann. Published by S.M.A.K. | Prestel Publishing
Presenting photographs from the artist's Wyeth series, Things Beyond Resemblance: James Welling Photographs included works created specifically for the exhibition.
Welling's engagement with particular places and histories is integral to his practice. The American artist Andrew Wyeth (1917-2009) has been a formative influence on Welling's work since childhood. Welling stated, "I realized I had never stopped thinking about Wyeth. He had become a part of how I see." He began to study Wyeth again in the mid-2000s, traveling to Maine and Pennsylvania in search of some of the painter's former locations and subjects. In 2010, Welling initiated a series of color photographs inspired by his research, and 50 debuted in this show.
The photographs were shot on location in places where Wyeth painted throughout his life. The Kuerner Farm, a source of inspiration for Wyeth's work for over 70 years, is now part of Brandywine River Museum of Art. Welling also created site-specific installations on the grounds and in the historic properties attached to the museum. Entitled Gradients, these sculptures extended the project of Things Beyond Resemblance to the physical landscape that influenced both Welling and Wyeth.
The accompanying publication includes an interview with Welling by the curator Philipp Kaiser, and essays by Michael Fried, Suzanne Hudson, and Sharon Lockhart.
Published by Prestel
Read more: Welling in conversation with Alex Greenberger for ARTnews about the Wyeth series