Book Review: Being Human
Author: William A Ewing
Artist: William Wegman, Surrealism
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William Wegman, photographer is a world-renowned and pioneering multi-media artist.
Wegman is a serious key figure in West Coast Conceptual art movement and has been recognised Internationally for his videos, photographs, paintings and drawings.
A major and long-lasting body of his work has centered on the whimsical and surreal photographs of his beloved dog's, his Weimaraners. His first muse was Man Ray and then came Fay Ray, their descendants and relatives. These patient, willing subjects have made their way into Wegman’s exhibitions and books throughout the years and they have in turn helped him establish his creativity of muse, subject of form, of trend and of story.
Wegman’s earlier exhibitions have toyed with the purposely ambiguous canine/human interface, but have never fully embraced the idea that his work is essentially about the human condition. Being Human looks at his oeuvre through this lens.
Beyond the evident humour of this book, Wegman touches upon a wide range of human creativity and influences from fashion, design, decoration, history, the whimsical, and art. Cubism, Constructivism, Colour Field Painting, classical and modern sculpture, and performance art find their way into Wegman imagery, not to mention the manifold references to the traditional genres of the nude, the portrait, and landscape photography.
Even if we tried, we couldn’t get enough of William Wegman’s Weimaraners. This iconic and pioneering photographer’s witty images of his anthropomorphic dogs are instantly recognisable by art and animal lovers alike. Wegman's work is pure surrealism. Many will not get this book, they will find it curious, humourous but will not understand that actually living day by day with a Weimaraner is curiously like living with a human but in the animal form and of course without a voice. I am told by many Weim lovers that share their lives with them that they truly know and understand you more than other dog breeds, to me they are like ghost creatures, I adore their form, their spirit and their relationship with their humans, I am honoured to know many Weimaraners and their humans.
This new book, William Wegman: Being Human compiles over 300 photos from the artist’s personal archive, chosen by fellow William and expert curator, William A. Ewing. His book is the truly the definitive Wegman, for many a coffee table staple, for others and perhaps those who live with Weimaraner's who will tell you they truly feel that their dogs are human, well the connection is more than real and they certainly are devotee's of Wegman's work.
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Born 1943, Holyoke, Massachusetts
1965 B.F.A., Massachusetts College of Art, Boston
1967 M.F.A., University of Illinois, Champaign Urbana
Mr Wegman is an internationally renowned photographer and bestselling author.
He lives with his Weimaraners in New York and Maine.
William A. Ewing is an author, lecturer, and curator of photography.
|Title||William Wegman: Being Human|
|Author||William A. Ewing|
|Photographs by||William Wegman|
|Publisher||Chronicle Books, 2017|
- Number of Works: The exhibition will include 100 artworks, all of them 20”x24” photographs, most of them unique Polaroids, some of them in series.
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Recent Selected Solo Exhibitions
William Wegman: Postcard Paintings, Sperone Westwater, New York, NY; March 17 - April 23
William Wegman: Drawings, Magenta Plains, New York, NY; March 17 - April 24
William Wegman: New and Used Furniture 1972-2015, Marc Selwyn Fine Art, Los Angeles, CA; April 16 - May 28
William Wegman: Good Dogs on Nice Furniture, Barry Whistler Gallery, Dallas, Texas; July 2 - August 13
Mr Wegman has an exhausted list of global solo and joint exhibitions, he is truly an artist of our times and a prolific worker of his craft.
Please refer to his full list of exhibitions here
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Awards and Grants
1999 New York Foundation for the Arts Honor
1999 Bailey House Key Honor
1986 Guggenheim Fellowship
1985 National Endowment for the Arts
1979 Creative Artists Public Service (video)
1976 National Endowment for the Arts
1975 Guggenheim Fellowship
Selected Public Collections
Albright-Knox Gallery, Buffalo
Australian National Gallery, Canberra
The Brooklyn Museum, New York
Carnegie Institute, Museum of Art, Pittsburgh
F.R.A.C. Limousin, Limoges, France
The Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.
Los Angeles County Museum of Art
Minneapolis Institute of Art
Museum of Fine Art, Houston
The Museum of Modern Art, New York
De Menil Collection, Houston
Newport Harbor Museum, California
Sammlung Ludwig, Aachen
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
Saint Louis Museum of Modern Art
Stuart Collection, Univ. of California, San Diego
Walker Art Center, Minneapolis
The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York
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Book Launch & Exhibition
December 7 2018 - March 17 2019
You can preorder now here.
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HUGO & OTTO ADDENDUM:
This blog is dedicated to a pawsome four legged Weimaraner who lives in West Yorkshire in England, he has the curious name of Otto, I wonder why I love this name so?
Otto, is a beautiful 8 year old boy who shares his life with his beautiful human mum Rachel, they have just had great news that he has the all clear after a recent illness scare. They are huge fans of William Wegman and we of them, thank you Rachel & Otto for loving us so, we love you too x