Regen Projects
629 North Almont Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90069
Tel. (310) 276-5424 Fax. (310) 276-7430

JAMES WELLING: New Photographs
March 11 - April 15, 2000
Gallery hours: Tuesday - Saturday 11:00 - 5:00 pm
Opening reception: Saturday, March 11, 6:00 - 8:00 pm

Regen Projects is pleased to announce an exhibition of James Welling's most recent series of photographs: the New Abstractions. This show will consist of black and white abstract photographs created by dropping long strips of paper onto a photographic negative and exposing it to light. The resulting photograms are stunning compositions of solid black intertwined lines of varying thickness arranged on white backgrounds. This new body of work was recently exhibited at the Sprengel Museum in Hannover, Germany, where James Welling was awarded the DG-Bank Founder Prize in Photography. In the catalogue accompanying this exhibition, Alain Cueff writes of the work:

"Welling does not think of abstraction as a dead branch of art history but rather as an incomplete moment of modernity. This explains the ironic though serious approach which achieves abstraction as an instantaneous, though subjectively assisted ready-made - a condensation of history, an actuality of photography, a meantime of light. ... By creating these works, which at one and the same time fully exist as abstractions, ready-mades and photograms, James Welling is implementing a kind of historical short-circuit and critique in which the metaphysical aspirations of painting, the materialist expectations of the ready-made and the photosensitivity of time become inseparably entwined."
(James Welling: New Abstractions. Sprengel Museum. 1999)

Welling's iconoclastic and structuralist approach to photography has allowed him to explore the infinite formal and theoretical facets of picture making. Throughout his series' Welling isolates light and the mechanics of the camera, tying his practice to painting and its relationship to photography. Rather than document the subject, he places the emphasis on how light articulates form and how framing determines composition. In his "Foil" series, crumpled aluminum is transformed into abstract topographical landscapes; The "Drape" series depicts darks folds of velvet draped downward referencing the flattened "window" of the picture; an image of a horse from the "Light Sources" series is an example of how the subject is suppressed revealing light as a subject in itself. The "Degrade" series depicting fields of rich saturated, almost monochromatic color expose the actual physical planes of color embedded in color film while also referencing early abstract Modernist painting.

James Welling studied at CalArts with John Baldessari in the 70's and for the past five years he has been living and working in Los Angeles. Welling has exhibited at museums and galleries internationally and he is currently associate professor at UCLA. A retrospective exhibition of James Welling's work is being curated by Sarah Rogers at the Wexner Center for the Arts in Columbus, Ohio. The exhibition opens in May 2000 and will travel to MoCA in Los Angeles in 2001. A catalogue will be produced in conjunction with this exhibition. Other monographs of Welling's photography include: James Welling published by the Kunstmuseum Luzern in Switzerland; The Photographic Invisible: James Welling, published by Wako Works of Art, Tokyo, Japan; James Welling: Wolfsburg, published by Cantz in Wolfsburg, Germany; and James Welling published by Kunsthalle Bern in Switzerland

An opening reception for James Welling will take place on Saturday, March 11 from 6 - 8 pm at the gallery. For further information please contact Shaun Caley Regen or Lisa Overduin at the gallery at (310) 276-5424.