Minneapois Institute of Arts
New Pictures at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts

100 Words on James Welling, Glass House

Posted Dec 10, 2010

Nicole Soukup is an intern at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. In 2009,  She received her M.A. in Art History from the University of Florida.  New Pictures 3: James Welling, Glass House goes through March 6th, 2011.

When I first saw James Welling, Glass House, one word came to mind – fluorescent. These photographs are bold, bright, and dynamic. By using reflection and collapsing space, Welling went beyond the static nature of architectural photography. He captured the essential dynamism of light and space in the building.

The abstraction in the photographs puts pressure on our preconceptions of what it means to take a digital photograph. Welling used analog methods to obtain the desired effects for these digital photographs.   This undermining of the digital with the analog however falls second to the visual play in the images.

100 Words on James Welling

Posted Oct 7, 2010

Periodically, we’ll ask artists and writers to contribute 100 words on featured New Pictures artists. For “New Pictures 3: James Welling’s Glass House,” we have asked photographer Mark Wyse to contribute his 100 words. Based out of Los Angeles, Mark Wyse’s works are included in major museum collections including the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

James Welling

I can’t help thinking, while looking, that James Welling is trying to make the Glass House bleed. But this isn’t right and glass doesn’t bleed.

James Welling in pursuit of making the invisible, visible has taken photography’s most adored trait, its illusion of transparency collapse in on itself. The intellectual and visual allure of Phillip Johnson’s masterpiece of reflection and transparency, the Glass House must have been an irresistible pull. In Welling’s photographs the Glass House becomes a sublimated analogy of photography itself.

Here light and glass unravel into a spectrum of hallucinogenic color.

Looking at the photographs, I quickly feel the presence of James Welling’s body standing, looking, seeing, contaminating and polluting with psychedelic color the pristine, thoughts of Phillip Johnson’s idealism.

In Glass House, not only does photography see itself, it dreams.

-Mark Wyse