About Four Thirty + The Architects

by William Wegman

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Artist Statement

 

About Four Thirty

Weimaraners have good balance. From a lifetime of being carried and placed on pedestals of all shapes and sizes, boxes, bikes, tractors and chairs, my dogs have learned to wait and settle into position. But of all my dogs, past and present, Batty (the dog in this picture) was the most flexible and blasé about posing. It was not uncommon for Batty to fall asleep while posing. In this case, she stayed awake.

The Architects

Like Wright's famous masterpiece Fallingwater, Le Corbusier's Ronchamp Chapel is an excellent subject for the camera. It presents itself perfectly for the lens. Some years ago I visited Fallingwater and was amazed at how complex and big it was. I have never been to Ronchamp but wrote a paper about it in art school (so I know nothing). The pictures I have seen tend to all be from one particular angle, just below the skyline. I love looking at and thinking about this building. On the other hand, I care nothing about golf, so when I came across a postcard with several figures on a lawn, I had to strain to notice that they were watching golf. I imagined four of the figures as architects. And that gave me the idea. I found cards of four separate buildings, including Ronchamp, that were equivalent in size and position. The horizon lines matched and I was able to begin annexing them with watercolor, finally giving the golf audience something to look at. I first began to alter my own photographic works in the mid-seventies. Since then, I have become increasingly interested in the resurrection and relocation of found images. Postcards are an excellent repository of these, and I have been using them in my work since 1995. With painted additions I can connect disparate properties and places and give them new life, create a new space. I am fascinated by the range and variety of postcards. My own collection has grown enormously over the last 15 years, architecture and landscape postcards are a large part of what is an otherwise random collection.

 

William Wegman

 

A pioneer video artist, conceptualist, photographer, painter and writer, William Wegman moves fluidly among various media: from conceptual works to commissioned magazine shots; videos shown in museums to television segments made for Sesame Street and Saturday Night Live; artists' books portraying 19th-century naturalist studies to children's books revealing tongue-in-cheek portraits of town and country life; and from photographic "landscapes" employing his Weimaraner muses to his most recent cycle of landscapes combining found scenic souvenir postcards with drawing, collage and painting. 

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