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Michiko Okaya, Director of Art Galleries
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William Wegman exhibition at Lafayette College.
Photographer, painter, and pioneer of video art to speak at Lafayette College.
Lafayette College Art Galleries presents “Please Stand By: Drawings for a Better Tomorrow and a Worse Yesterday,” an exhibition by William Wegman, March 8 through April 22 at the Richard A. and Rissa W. Grossman Gallery, located at the Williams Visual Arts Building (WVAB), 243 North Third Street, Easton, Pa.
Wegman will give an artist’s talk at 4 p.m., Wednesday, March 8, in Landis Cinema, Buck Hall, 219 North Third Street. A reception for the artist will immediately follow the talk—from 5-6 p.m. at Grossman Gallery, Williams Visual Arts Building, 243 North Third Street.
The exhibition, reception, and talk are free and open to the public.
High resolution photos are available via Flickr or by HighTail or DropBox on request.
Please Stand By: Drawings for a Better Tomorrow and a Worse Yesterday, curated by Julia Brennan ’17 and Lola Wegman ’19, brings together a selection of Wegman’s videos from the 1970s and a collection of works on paper–drawings, collages, and altered photographs–from the 1970s through the 1990s, which reveal the humor and strange logic which inform so much of Wegman’s work.
William Wegman lived and worked in Los Angeles in the early 70s, a pioneer in the developing medium of video art and a key figure, along with such artists as John Baldessari, Ed Ruscha and Al Ruppersberg, in what came to be known as West Coast Conceptual art. His dog at the time, a Weimaraner named Man Ray, insisted on being a part of whatever it was Wegman was working on at the studio and thus began a collaboration with his dogs which has continued to this day. In 2006 Roberta Smith, in a New York Times review of his retrospective at the Brooklyn Museum wrote, “Mr. Wegman is one of the most important artists to emerge from the heady experiments of the 1970s.”
Wegman began producing short, performance-oriented videotapes in the early 1970s which are considered classics. Using sight gags, minimalist performance and his own special dead pan humor, Wegman’s video work reveals the absurd inspiration to be found in everything from art to advertising. Recorded as single takes in real time, “Wegman uses portable video’s intimacy and low tech immediacy to create idiosyncratic narrative comedy.” Describing the process behind his tapes, Wegman says, “I present a situation and develop some kind of explanation around it. By the time the story is over you get to know why that particular prop or mannerism was displayed.”
In the drawings, collages, and altered photographs [he] can deal with really far-fetched content, subjects that are awkward for photo or video recording,” he has said. “Drawing opened up a realm of possibilities.”
William Wegman was born December 2, 1943 in Holyoke, Massachusetts. He received a BFA in painting from the Massachusetts College of Art in Boston in 1965 and an MFA from the University of Illinois Champagne-Urbana in 1967. Wegman’s photographs, videotapes, paintings, and drawings have been exhibited in museums and galleries internationally. The exhibition William Wegman: Photographs, Paintings, Drawings and Video toured throughout Europe including the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; the Kunstmuseum, Lucerne; the Frankfurter Kunstverein; the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris and the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York. Recent exhibitions have included William Wegman: Funney/Strange, which toured museums in the US, and touring retrospectives in Europe, Scandinavia, Japan, and Korea. Wegman is the author of numerous books for adults and more than a dozen books for children. Recent publications include William Wegman: Paintings (Abrams) and the upcoming William Wegman: Being Human which will be published by Thames and Hudson in fall 2017.
Lafayette is located in Easton, Pennsylvania, on the scenic Delaware River, 72 miles from New York City, and 60 miles from Philadelphia. For more information and gallery hours, visit the art galleries website, galleries.lafayette.edu.
For more information, contact: Michiko Okaya, director of art galleries, firstname.lastname@example.org, or Kristine Todaro, LafColNews@lafayette.edu,
visit Lafayette’s galleries or find us on Facebook and Twittter, and Instagram
All gallery lectures and exhibitions are free and open to the public. They are sponsored by Lafayette Art Galleries.
Lafayette College Art Galleries and EPI receive state arts funding support through a grant from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency. William Wegman: Please Stand By is also supported by the Department of Art and an arts infusion grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
Top: William Wegman holding a cutout likeness of Bobbin, one of several Weimaraners he has owned and photographed over the past 45 years. Photo by Tim Mantoani, 2008
Center: William Wegman, Sorry, 1984, ink on paper, Courtesy of the artist
Bottom; William Wegman, A still from the video Spelling Lesson, 1973–74, courtesy of the artist
high resolution photos are available via Flickr or by HighTail or DropBox on request.