James Welling (born 1951 in Hartford, Connecticut) is a post modern artist. He earned both a BFA and an MFA at California Institute of the Arts in Valencia, California, where he studied with, among others, Dan Graham. He emerged in the 1970s as a post conceptual artist for whom photographic norms and the representational field itself were and remain contested and problematized. Welling lives and works in Los Angeles.
During his career, Welling has experimented with different photographic mediums, including Polaroids, gelatin silver prints, photograms and digital prints.
Having studied under John Baldessari at CalArts and exhibited with Sherrie Levine at Metro Pictures, Welling began his career in the so-called Pictures Generation. His self-education in photography began in 1976 with the series Los Angeles Architecture & Portraits. In 1977 his second series, Diary/Landscape, matched the handwriting of his great-grandparents' letters with winter landscapes in Connecticut.
Another well-known 2009 series by Welling is a meditation over a period of three years on Philip Johnson’s Glass House, shot in situ using colored filters. By contrast, his images of the Maison de Verre, are digitally manipulated. The rooms are lightened and brightened so that in some cases they glow unnaturally like a magazine spread.
Yet another series consists of rectangles of pure color, made in the darkroom using colored filters. For his photogram series Torsos (2005–08), Welling cut screening, of the same type used for windows, to follow bodily contours and placed them on chromogenic paper before exposing them.
Welling has held various teaching positions at universities since 1995. He is currently Area Head of Photography at UCLA. In the fall of 2014, he will serve as Visiting Professor of Photography at Princeton University, where he previously held the position in 2012.
Welling was the photographer of the cover art for Sonic Youth's 1985 album Bad Moon Rising. He collaborated with U.S. poet Susan Howe, providing six black-and-white photograms to accompany the text of That This, published in 2010.
In 2009 he designed a hand-knotted rug for BravinLee programs. For the spring collection of Italian fashion label Brioni, Welling collaborated with the brand's creative director Brendan Mullane on a triple exposed floral print that was showered over zip front collared jackets, short sleeved silk shirts and Prince of Wales check suits.
In 2014, The New York Times considered Welling one of today’s most influential photographers. That year, the artist was named one of the recipients of the Infinity Award given by the International Center of Photography, New York.
Untitled, C-print mounted to plexiglass, 34 x 37 inches
Baker Schorr Fine Art Ally Village 200 Spring Park Drive, Suite 105 Midland, Texas 79705