James Welling's new photographs continue to map the uncharted territory between representation and abstraction. The works, both in color and black and white, depict carefully arranged folds of drapery sometimes dusted with shard-like particles and sometimes serving as the backdrop for other objects. The abstract light-reflective crumbled aluminum foil series using the velvet drape speaks of formal interiors and classical compositions. The reduction of means to just a few simple elements that allude to a vast reservoir of familiar images and scenes is typical of Welling's work. The restraint and objective distance in the work balances the indulgence of a clearly romantic sensibility. Welling's refusal to supply more than the slightest hint of a context for these pictures emphasizes that they are not about what we see but how we see it.
James Welling was born in 1951 in Hartford, Connecticut, and now lives in New York City. His photographs have been seen in one-person exhibitions at the ARCO Center for Visual Arts in Los Angeles and Metro Pictures in New York; and in group exhibitions at Castelli Graphics, the Kitchen and Annina Nosei Gallery in New York; Los Angeles Institute of Contemporary Art; Hartford Art School; Newport Harbor Art Museum; Texas Gallery in Houston; California Institute of the Arts in Valencia; New 57 Gallery in Edinburgh; and at the 5. Wiener Internationale Biennale in Vienna.
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