At Magenta Plains in NYC, Drawings and Altered Photographs (But No Dogs) from William Wegman
William Wegman’s photographic collaboration with his own Weimaraner dogs has endured since the late 1970s. The visual humor in Wegman’s work raises questions about how we perceive ourselves and how we look at art. In Pawns, the poised posture of the dogs perched on wooden plinths mimics the classic art-historical presentation of sculpture. Wegman recently had solo exhibitions at Marc Selwyn Fine Art, Los Angeles, and The Hole, New York. In 1990, a major retrospective of his work travelled to the Centre Pompidou, Paris, and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.
Though originally trained in painting, William Wegman is known for his photographic images featuring dogs—primarily his own Weimaraners—in various costumes and poses, and with an array of props. Wegman embarked on a 12-year collaboration with his first dog, Man Ray, who appeared in numerous photographs and videos. In 1986 Wegman acquired a new dog, Fay Ray, beginning a second collaboration in which the artist began using a 20-by-24-inch Polaroid; Wegman’s cast would grow after Fay Ray gave birth to a litter. In Entabled (1988), a Weimaraner is depicted perched demurely on its back atop an antique wooden table, while in Evergreen (2003), Wegman captures his dog’s profile against a stark black background and with a sprig of upside-down foliage balanced on its head. He has also produced artist books in which his dogs feature as the lead characters, as in his much-loved dog version of Cinderella.
American, b. 1943, Holyoke, Massachusetts