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EXHIBITIONS

James Welling at Maureen Paley, London

James Welling’s third solo show at Maureen Paley includes new photographs from Wyeth, for which Welling travelled to Maine and Pennsylvania in pursuit of subjects and places painted by American realist painter Andrew Wyeth (1917 – 2009).

Although the project started in 2010, its origins date back to Welling’s early years as an artist, when Wyeth was a major source of inspiration. In the Wyeth project, Welling is equally interested in the biographical significance of Wyeth’s subject matter and in tracing the origins of how he came to photography. As he noted in a 2012 interview with Patricia Hickson, Emily Hall Tremaine Curator of Contemporary Art at the Wadsworth Atheneum in Hartford, Connecticut, the Wyeth project permitted him to uncover pictorial devices he had unconsciously adopted from the painter. The work inspired him “to look very closely at things, to be intense, to be very focused.” Wyeth, in turn, goes beyond the straightforward question of influence, to engage with the complex relationship between the photographic image and its referent.

While several of Welling’s photographs are based directly on Wyeth’s tempera or watercolor paintings, other images depart from a visual resemblance to the painter’s work and depict his studio and the environs where he lived and painted. Determining what was, and what was not, a Wyeth subject became a multi-layered project. Broader issues of temporality, aging, and creative renewal are evoked, while the photographs simultaneously trace Wyeth’s oeuvre and open up a hitherto unexplored aspect of Welling’s artistic practice.

Along with the Wyeth project, the exhibition shows a video projection of a recently restored 10 minute Super 8 film made by Welling in January 1971.

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at Maureen Paley, London

until 6 October 2013

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Above – Winter Corn, 2012

Wyeth exhibition view, ground floor gallery

House, Cushing, ME, 2012

Olson House Window, 2012 – The Olson House, a National Historic Landmark, is owned and operated by the Farnsworth Art Museum, Rockland, Maine.

Wyeth exhibition view, ground floor gallery

Mullen Plant, Thomaston, ME, 2012

Finn Church, 2012

John Chadd House, 2012

Wyeth exhibition view, ground floor gallery

Olson House in Spring, 2013 – The Olson House, a National Historic Landmark, is owned and operated by the Farnsworth Art Museum, Rockland, Maine.

Maidenhead, 2012

Sculpture 1970 Film 1971, exhibition view, upstairs gallery

Evening at Kuerners, 2010 – The Kuerner Farm and the N.C Wyeth House and Studio, both National Historic Landmarks, and the Andrew Wyeth Studio are owned and operated by the Brandywine Conservancy, Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania.

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Courtesy of the artist and Maureen Paley, London

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