James Welling

Biography of James Welling

James Welling (born 1951 in Hartford, US) is a postmodern conceptual artist mainly working in the field of photography. Together with Dan Graham he studied at the California Institute of the Arts. Since 1970 Welling explores the field of artistic representation with all its technologies and facets: traditional gelatin silver prints, chromogenic prints, Polaroids, digital prints, and photograms. His oeuvre consists of figurative and abstract works. He experiments with draperies, dough, window screens, and achieves dynamic, colorful, appealing effects. Welling concentrates on simple, repetitive motives in order to remove photography from its subject and to trigger personal emotions of the viewer within the greater idea of exploring how we see and not what we see. In 2008 he produced multiples of his photograms that appear as abstract, shining forms floating in dark space. Between 2005 and 2008 he worked on his Torso series, gelatin silver prints that display the human torso and seem like landscapes of light and shadow. In his Degradé series Welling plays with the notion of complete abstraction, leaving his prints only with color gradations. In 2014, he won the Infinity Award of the International Center of Photography, New York. Moreover, he teaches at UCLA and is a visiting lecturer at Princeton University. Welling lives and works in Los Angeles.

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