In advance of the major solo exhibition of American artist James Welling at the Contemporary Art Gallery (CAG), Emily Carr's Faculty of Visual Art and Material Practice and the CAG are pleased to present a conversation between Welling and Professor Dominic McIver-Lopes.
Welling emerged as a seminal figure in the “Pictures Generation”, an influential group of artists including Sherrie Levine, Cindy Sherman and Richard Prince. Working in New York in the late 1970s and early 1980s, they were acclaimed for their pioneering use of photography and for opening up a new set of questions about art and the nature of representation. Welling’s exhibition, and the publication that accompanies it, are titled The Mind on Fire to evoke a febrile time of energy, thought and production from that period.
James Welling was born in 1951 in Hartford, Connecticut. James Welling: Monograph, a major survey exhibition, curated by James Crump, opened at the Cincinnati Art Museum in Ohio and is now on view at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles. Aperture published a concurrent volume with essays by James Crump, Mark Godfrey and an interview of the artist by Eva Respini. A reduced version of Monograph will travel to the Fotomuseum Winterthur in Switzerland in December.
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.
Welling is Area Head of Photography at UCLA and is a Visiting Professor at Princeton University. His work 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.
Dominic McIver Lopes is a Professor in the Department of Philosophy at UBC, President of the American Society for Aesthetics, a member of the British Society of Aesthetics, and a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism. He is also co-editor (with Berys Gaut) of Wiley- Blackwell’s New Directions in Aesthetics. His work focuses on pictorial representation and perception; the aesthetic and epistemic value of pictures, and the ontology of art. He is working on two books entitled Beyond Art and Four Arts of Photography.