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James Welling: Choreograph

  • Dates: July 11, 2020 - January 24, 2021
  • Recurrence: Recurring daily
  • Location: George Eastman Museum
  • Address: 900 East Avenue Rochester, NY 14607-2298

“By choosing to use ‘choreograph,’ drawing with space, as a noun, I am noting its similarity to ‘photograph,’ drawing with light.” — James Welling

James Welling’s recent body of work integrates several strands of his artistic exploration over the past forty years. Each Choreograph is a large inkjet print combining images of dance, architecture, and landscape in layers of distinctive, luminous color. The works prompt associations with bodies in motion, eliciting sensations of momentum, force, and rhythm.

Every work in the series begins with three black-and-white photographs, each digitally entered into one of three color channels—red, green, or blue—in Photoshop and combined into a single image. Welling makes adjustments until the picture resolves to its final form, which he secures by making an inkjet print. The result is a dense visual field infused with the science of color perception, the psychosomatic experience of physical space, and the history of photographic representation.

James Welling (American, b. 1951) emerged as an artist in the 1970s with the Pictures Generation. Since then, he has become internationally renowned for his deep exploration of photographic techniques, processes, practices, and history. This exhibition is the first museum presentation devoted to Choreograph and coincides with a corresponding Aperture publication that includes an essay by Lisa Hostetler, curator in charge, Department of Photography.