William Wegman is a world-renowned and pioneering multi-media artist. A key figure in the West Coast Conceptual art movement, Wegman has been recognized internationally for his videos, photographs, paintings and drawings. A major and long-lasting body of his work has centered on photographs of his Weimaraners—Man Ray, Fay Ray, their descendants and relatives. These patient and willing subjects have made their way into Wegman’s exhibitions and books over the years, yet until now, his rich archive has never been explored in depth. This exhibition features 100 of the finest works drawn from the entire oeuvre, chosen in close collaboration with the artist himself. More than one-half are being exhibited for the first time.
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 humor, Wegman’s work touches upon a wide range of human creativity: fashion, design, decoration, history, fable, and art. Cubism, Constructivism, Color 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 even landscape photography.
Being Human is published by Thames & Hudson in the UK; Xavier Barral in France; Chronicle Books in the USA. It features 300 photographs, and contains essays by William Wegman, curator William A. Ewing, as well as an interview of the artist.