Being Human - William Wegman
LAC, Lugano Sept 8, 2019 – Jan 6, 2020
The MASI, in collaboration with the Foundation for the Exhibition of Photography, presents an exhibition dedicated to the famous American photographer William Wegman. Wegman, who occupies a special position in contemporary art, has developed his photographic language on the relationship with his Weimaraner dogs, combining a documentary look with a careful scenography and a subtle sense of humor. The exhibition has about a hundred works that show the photographer's ability to create images that are both fun, impressive and surrealistic.
William Wegman, eclectic master of contemporary American art, is a renowned and versatile artist, able to deftly juggle painting, drawing, photography, film, video, books and performances. Wegman has become known in the world art scene for the series of images starring his dogs. Beginning in the 1970s, the encounter with his first Weimaraner - Man Ray -, the photographer made the specimens of this breed the main subject of his shots, representing - characters, fashion trends and movements of art history with ingenuity and irony.
Man Ray, Fay Ray, Penny, Bobbin, Chip, Chundo, Crooky and several generations of their puppies are the absolute protagonists of large format Polaroid: snapshots in a single copy, not retouched, that exalt both the spontaneity of the subjects, as well as the skill of the photographer and you can see how the artist and his dogs are in tune. Each shot can be considered the result of a collaboration. Being Human traces the evolution of this unique artistic relationship over thirty years, staging a kind of mirror of human nature.
The exhibition consists of ninety Polaroids and ten pigment prints selected by William A. Ewing, curator of the exhibition and former director of the Musée de l'Elysée in Lausanne, in close collaboration with the artist and is divided into chapters, each of which collects works by subjects similar or connected by similar visual allusions. Organized by the Foundation for Exhibition of Photography, Minneapolis / New York / Paris / Lausanne, the exhibition opened at the "Rencontres d'Arles" in summer 2018, event that marked the beginning of a four-year tour that includes stops in Australia, New Zealand, Asia and Europe. The exhibition in Lugano is the first European stage.
William Wegman was born in 1943 in Holyoke, Massachusetts. After finishing his studies in painting, starting in the late 1960s, he began a career as a conceptual artist by participating in some of the most significant exhibitions of those years such as When Attitudes Become Form (1969) and Documenta V (1972). Wegman's work has been exhibited in museums and galleries of international level including, among many, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; Kunstmuseum Luzern, Lucerne; Center Pompidou, Paris; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Brooklyn Museum of Art, Brooklyn; Kunsthalle Bern, Bern. It is also regularly presented in magazines such as Interfunktionen, Artforum and Avalanche.
Over the years Wegman has made videos and films for Saturday Night Live and Nickelodeon and his videos for Sesame Street have appeared regularly since 1989. In 1995, the movie The Hardly Boys was screened at the Sundance Film Festival. Wegman was also in charge of creating images for a wide range of projects including a fashion campaign for Acne, banners for the Metropolitan Opera and covers for numerous magazines including The New Yorker and, more recently, Wallpaper. He finally appeared on The Tonight Show, David Letterman Show and Colbert Report. William Wegman lives in New York and Maine and continues to paint, draw, shoot videos and photograph his dogs Flo and Topper.
LAC, Lugano Sept 8, 2019 – Jan 6, 2020
Information & pre sales: Ticket office LAC, +41 (0)58 866 42 22
Opening hours: Tuesday - Sunday: 10:00 – 18:00 (calls will be answered from 12am), Monday closed