Conversations in Context

James Welling

Conversations in Context invited leaders from creative fields to reflect on the site’s past, present, and future, and to contribute their perspectives on the Glass House and its significance to contemporary debates.

James Welling has been questioning the norms of representation since the 1970s. His work centers on an exploration of photography, shuffling the elemental components of the medium to produce a distinctly uncompromising body of work. Welling is also intensely interested in cultural and personal ideas of memory in his work. In opening up the medium of photography for experimentation, James Welling’s practice has influenced an entire generation of artists and photographers. Welling was born in 1951 in Hartford, Connecticut. He received his B.F.A. and M.F.A. from the California Institute of the Arts in Valencia, California. Since 2005, his work has been represented by David Zwirner. In 2012, James Welling: Overflow marked his fifth solo show at the gallery. Welling’s work has been exhibited widely in the United States and internationally, including solo exhibitions at the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Horticultural Society of New York, Palais des Beaux-Arts, Art Gallery of York University, Sprengel Museum Hannover, Carnegie Museum of Art, and the Kunstmuseum Luzern. In 2000, the Wexner Center for the Arts, 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 in the Fall of 2012 was 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. He lives and works in Los Angeles.

The 2013 season of Conversations in Context was generously supported by Oldcastle BuildingEnvelope®  

Additional support was kindly provided by Nat and Lucy Day.

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