Regen Projects II
9016 Santa Monica Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90069
Tel. (310) 276-5424
Fax. (310) 276-7430

March 1 – April 5, 2008
Gallery Hours: Tuesday–Saturday, 10:00 am – 6:00 pm
Opening Reception: Saturday, March 1, 4:00 – 6:00 pm

Regen Projects is pleased to announce an exhibition of new photographs by James Welling. This exhibition will present a selection of works from four recent bodies of work: Flowers, Holly, Torsos, and Authors. In these photographs there is a tension between photographic representation and abstracted visual experience – they are an investigation of how light and color articulate form and how the framing of an image defines composition. James Welling engages the materials, production, and history of the medium of photography, and collapses them into works of art that remain quintessentially photographic while questioning the very nature of photography itself. Welling has always mined the space between photography and conceptual art – creating photographs that are as much about vision, light, negative, and solid as they are about image and content.

The Flowers, Holly, and Torsos series continue Welling's work with photograms. Welling's continued interest in and investigation of photograms illustrates his ongoing experimentation with the medium of photography. Photograms are intrinsic to photography and recall both the history and early exploration into the medium. In the Flowers series (started in 2004), Welling places plumbago blossoms onto photographic film and exposes it to light. The most recent flowers illustrate a larger range of colors and a much fuller volume in the pictorial space. The Holly series plays with the affects of light and color on visual perception – there is a reversal of solid and void where color becomes form and the white background reads as negative space. The Torsos series continues Welling's work of creating photograms with screens (which began in 2004). Welling has long been interested in halftone screens and moiré patterns and the recent work takes this exploration one step further. The abstract images can be seen as a swath of skin, the sense of touch, a headless body. The Flowers, Holly, and Torsos are created through the manipulation of the sensual presence of material and are incredibly tactile – they are as much about touch as they are about vision.

The Authors series continues Welling's work with drapes, which began in the 1980s. In these works the drape is a textured surface, an abstract condition defined by a few simple folds and a light source across the surface. Drapes are a theatrical artifact that both conceals and reveals – they are a means to eliminate references and imply a wealth of references all at the same time. The titles of the works in the series reference 19th century writers (Emerson, Fuller, Thoreau, Whitman). The works are printed in both the muted colors reminiscent of the 19th century and the bold contemporary colors of today. There is a duality in these works – a blending of the past and the present, abstraction and literary association.

"…a recurrent theme in Welling's art involves a concern with objects and materials, not merely or primarily as they are in themselves, but as they are revealed photographically, as they exist within photography or are made manifest by photography, which since its inception has functioned in part as a technology for the revelation of reality, of reaches or aspects of the world that were otherwise unknown or at least unseeable in precisely those terms, even as its most sophisticated practitioners have been aware that what is made visible was not precisely reality as such."
(Michael Fried. "James Welling's Lock, 1976" in James Welling: Photographs 1974-1999, published by Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus, 2000, p. 27)

James Welling's work has been the subject of exhibitions throughout Europe, the United States, and Canada. Recent solo exhibitions include the Palais de Beaux-Arts, Brussels; Sprengel Museum Hanover, Germany; Kunstmuseum Luzern, Switzerland; Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh. A retrospective exhibition of Welling's work was organized by the Wexner Center for the Arts in Columbus, Ohio in 2000 and traveled to MOCA in Los Angeles.

An opening reception for James Welling will take place on Saturday, March 1, from 4:00 to 6:00 pm. For further information please contact Jennifer Loh or Stacy Bengtson at (310) 276-5424.

Upcoming Exhibitions
Regen Projects II (9016 Santa Monica Boulevard at North Almont Drive)
Catherine Opie: April 10 – May 17, 2008
Andrea Zittel: May 24 – June 28, 2008