A photograph by James Welling, titled Kusama, dated 2014
Fair

ADAA: The Art Show

David Zwirner is pleased to present photographs by James Welling at The Art Show 2020. Organized by the artist, the presentation explores his use of what he refers to as “pathological color” across several recent bodies of work.

Since the 1970s, when he was a student at the California Institute of the Arts, Welling has been known for a relentlessly evolving body of images that consider both the history and technical specificities of photography. Emerging at a time when the medium focused on its capacity for mimesis, Welling’s work signaled a break with traditional ideas of photography by shifting attention to the construction of images themselves. While the artist produces discrete series, the subject matter of which ranges widely, his work is united by an examination of what might be termed “states of being” produced by photographically derived images and by an inquiry into how such states are, in turn, read by the viewer.

James Welling notes:

For many years I have explored "trichromacy.” This mouthful of a word describes the physiological perception of color via red, green, and blue sensors in the eye. The reproduction of color uses similar strategies, with linked arrays of red, green, blue or cyan magenta, and cyan “color channels.”

When I began to work with digital image processing I realized that digital tools presented a key that would enable me to open what had been a locked system of color reproduction, color film, and paper.

In 2013 I began to crack the color code by shuffling and altering the red, green, and blue color channels in Photoshop. My first efforts were part of a book documenting the Museum of Modern Art’s Sculpture Garden. (The project also included photographs by Tina Barney, Vera Lutter, Thomas Struth, and Hiroshi Sugimoto.) For my contribution, I used one archival photograph of an event in the garden for one of the three color channels and two of my own photographs in the other channels. This resulted in wildly colored image overlays that I adjusted and modified in Photoshop.

A few years ago I encountered Goethe’s suggestive concept of “pathological color,” his description of color blindness and other perceptual abnormalities. I think of my new multicolored works as using “pathological color.”

I continued with these “pathological” techniques as I photographed dance, architecture, and sculpture. By shuffling and altering the color channels of my overlays I developed a process that produces unexpected chromatic results wherein no two pictures are alike.

My friend the composer Glenn Branca once told me he loved the way Beethoven used all the notes on the piano keyboard. In a like manner, I want to use all the colors of my Epson printer in these “pathological photographs.”

To coincide with this presentation, David Zwirner Online presents James Welling: Pathological Color, an online exhibition that highlights Welling’s process, featuring a selection of photographs that will be on view at the fair, along with additional works chosen by the artist that expand on the series.

James Welling was born in 1951 in Hartford, Connecticut. He studied at Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh before receiving his BFA and MFA from the California Institute of the Arts, in Valencia. Recent solo presentations include Metamorphosis, which traveled from the Stedelijk Museum voor Actuele Kunst (SMAK), Ghent, to Kunstforum Wien, Vienna (2017); Things Beyond Resemblance: James Welling Photographs, Brandywine River Museum of Art, Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania (2015); Diary of Elizabeth and James Dixon, 1840–41/Connecticut Landscapes, 1977–86, Art Institute of Chicago (2014); Autograph, Fotomuseum Winterthur, Switzerland (2013); and the major survey Monograph, which was presented at the Cincinnati Art Museum and the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, in 2013, and which was accompanied by a catalogue published by Aperture.

Welling’s work is held in numerous public collections worldwide. He has been represented by David Zwirner since 2005 and has had eight solo presentations with the gallery.


For all press inquiries, contact Julia Lukacher +1 212 727 2070 jlukacher@davidzwirner.com

Image: James Welling, 0818, 2006
Dates
February 27March 1, 2020
Address
Park Avenue Armory 643 Park Avenue New York
Booth
C1

David Zwirner is pleased to present photographs by James Welling at The Art Show 2020. Organized by the artist, the presentation explores his use of what he refers to as “pathological color” across several recent bodies of work.

Since the 1970s, when he was a student at the California Institute of the Arts, Welling has been known for a relentlessly evolving body of images that consider both the history and technical specificities of photography. Emerging at a time when the medium focused on its capacity for mimesis, Welling’s work signaled a break with traditional ideas of photography by shifting attention to the construction of images themselves. While the artist produces discrete series, the subject matter of which ranges widely, his work is united by an examination of what might be termed “states of being” produced by photographically derived images and by an inquiry into how such states are, in turn, read by the viewer.

James Welling notes:

For many years I have explored "trichromacy.” This mouthful of a word describes the physiological perception of color via red, green, and blue sensors in the eye. The reproduction of color uses similar strategies, with linked arrays of red, green, blue or cyan magenta, and cyan “color channels.”

When I began to work with digital image processing I realized that digital tools presented a key that would enable me to open what had been a locked system of color reproduction, color film, and paper.

In 2013 I began to crack the color code by shuffling and altering the red, green, and blue color channels in Photoshop. My first efforts were part of a book documenting the Museum of Modern Art’s Sculpture Garden. (The project also included photographs by Tina Barney, Vera Lutter, Thomas Struth, and Hiroshi Sugimoto.) For my contribution, I used one archival photograph of an event in the garden for one of the three color channels and two of my own photographs in the other channels. This resulted in wildly colored image overlays that I adjusted and modified in Photoshop.

A few years ago I encountered Goethe’s suggestive concept of “pathological color,” his description of color blindness and other perceptual abnormalities. I think of my new multicolored works as using “pathological color.”

I continued with these “pathological” techniques as I photographed dance, architecture, and sculpture. By shuffling and altering the color channels of my overlays I developed a process that produces unexpected chromatic results wherein no two pictures are alike.

My friend the composer Glenn Branca once told me he loved the way Beethoven used all the notes on the piano keyboard. In a like manner, I want to use all the colors of my Epson printer in these “pathological photographs.”

To coincide with this presentation, David Zwirner Online presents James Welling: Pathological Color, an online exhibition that highlights Welling’s process, featuring a selection of photographs that will be on view at the fair, along with additional works chosen by the artist that expand on the series.

James Welling was born in 1951 in Hartford, Connecticut. He studied at Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh before receiving his BFA and MFA from the California Institute of the Arts, in Valencia. Recent solo presentations include Metamorphosis, which traveled from the Stedelijk Museum voor Actuele Kunst (SMAK), Ghent, to Kunstforum Wien, Vienna (2017); Things Beyond Resemblance: James Welling Photographs, Brandywine River Museum of Art, Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania (2015); Diary of Elizabeth and James Dixon, 1840–41/Connecticut Landscapes, 1977–86, Art Institute of Chicago (2014); Autograph, Fotomuseum Winterthur, Switzerland (2013); and the major survey Monograph, which was presented at the Cincinnati Art Museum and the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, in 2013, and which was accompanied by a catalogue published by Aperture.

Welling’s work is held in numerous public collections worldwide. He has been represented by David Zwirner since 2005 and has had eight solo presentations with the gallery.


For all press inquiries, contact Julia Lukacher +1 212 727 2070 jlukacher@davidzwirner.com

Image: James Welling, 0818, 2006

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