b. 1951, USA

James Welling Biography

James Welling has been questioning the norms of representation since the 1970s. His work centers on an exploration of photography, shuffling the elemental components of the medium to produce a distinctly uncompromising body of work. Welling is also intensely interested in cultural and personal ideas of memory in his work. In opening up the medium of photography for experimentation, James Welling’s practice has influenced an entire generation of artists and photographers.

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Welling was born in 1951 in Hartford, Connecticut. He received his B.F.A. and M.F.A. from the California Institute of the Arts in Valencia, California.

He lives and works in Los Angeles.

Source: David Zwirner

Welling is currently on view at The Art Institute of Chicago is the museum's recent acquisition of Welling's important early body of work entitled Diary of Elizabeth and James Dixon, 1840-41 / Connecticut Landscapes, 1977-86(through April 12, 2015).

In 2013, a major survey, James Welling: Monograph, was organized by the Cincinnati Art Museum in Ohio and accompanied by a large-scale catalogue published by Aperture. The exhibition traveled to the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles. Also shown in 2013 was James Welling: Autograph, a comprehensive overview presented at the Fotomuseum Winterthur in Switzerland. In 2012, James Welling: The Mind on Fire opened at the MK Gallery in Milton Keynes, England, which explored the origin and development of Welling’s abstract photographs from the 1980s. The show traveled to the Centro Galego de Arte Contemporánea in Santiago de Compostela, Spain and the Contemporary Art Gallery in Vancouver.

Welling’s work has been exhibited widely in the United States and internationally, including solo exhibitions at the University Museum of Contemporary Art, UMASS Amherst, Amherst, Massachusetts (2013); Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford, Connecticut (2012); Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Minnesota (2010); Horticultural Society of New York (2007); Palais des Beaux-Arts, Brussels; Art Gallery of York University, Toronto (both 2002); Sprengel Museum Hannover (1999); Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh; and the Kunstmuseum Luzern, Lucerne, Switzerland (both 1998). In 2000, the Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus, Ohio organized a major survey of his work, which traveled to the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, and the Baltimore Museum of Art.

In 2009, Welling’s work was featured in the critically acclaimed historical survey, The Pictures Generation, 1974-1984, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, and in 2008, he participated in the Whitney Biennial. In 1992, his work was included in documenta IX.

In 2014, Welling was named one of the recipients of the prestigious Infinity Award given by the International Center of Photography, New York. He has held various teaching positions at prominent universities since 1995. He is currently Area Head of Photography at UCLA. He is currently a Visiting Professor of Photography at Princeton University, where he previously held the position in 2012. 

Work by the artist is held in major museum collections, including the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg, Germany; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.

Source: David Zwirner

James Welling Featured Artworks

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9947 by James Welling contemporary artwork photography, print, mixed media
James Welling 9947, 2016 Inkjet print on rag paper
106.7 x 160 cm
David Zwirner Contact Gallery
4776 by James Welling contemporary artwork print
James Welling 4776, 2015 Inkjet print
106.7 x 160 cm
David Zwirner Contact Gallery
3693 by James Welling contemporary artwork print
James Welling 3693, 2017 Inkjet print on rag paper
106.7 x 160 cm
David Zwirner Contact Gallery
#1 by James Welling contemporary artwork painting, print
James Welling #1, 2016 Digital c-print on Kodak Endura-Gloss paper
47 x 38 inches
Marian Goodman Gallery Contact Gallery
Sculpture of a Man by James Welling contemporary artwork print
James Welling Sculpture of a Man, 2019 UV-curable ink on Dibond aluminium
50 1/2 x 33 5/8 inches
Perrotin Contact Gallery
3824 by James Welling contemporary artwork print
James Welling 3824, 2018 UV-curable ink on Dibond aluminium
50 1/2 x 33 5/8 inches
Perrotin Contact Gallery
Julia Mamaea by James Welling contemporary artwork photography
James Welling Julia Mamaea, 2018 Gelatin dichromate print with aniline dye
35.6 x 27.9 cm
Marian Goodman Gallery Contact Gallery
Portrait of Avidia Plautia by James Welling contemporary artwork photography
James Welling Portrait of Avidia Plautia, 2019 Framed oil pigment and electrostatic print on polyester
45.7 x 30.5 cm
Maureen Paley

James Welling Recent Exhibitions

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James Welling Represented By

David Zwirner contemporary art gallery in 19th Street, New York, USA David Zwirner Hong Kong, London, New York, Paris
Marian Goodman Gallery contemporary art gallery in New York, USA Marian Goodman Gallery London, New York, Paris
Maureen Paley contemporary art gallery in London, United Kingdom Maureen Paley Hove, London

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