William Wegman’s large-format (24×20) Polaroid photographs of his dogs have become world famous. In fact, Wegman and his portraits of his models Man Ray and, more recently, Fay Ray have become indelibly intertwined in the public eye. Last summer Fay Ray gave birth to her own ‘limited edition’ of eight Weimaraner pups, one of which has now grown into the third generation of models for Wegman. The current exhibition will include his most recent studies in which Fay Ray and her protege Battina serve to illustrate, once again, human experience both emotional and psychological.
The exhibition will include approximately 18 unique Polaroid prints made with the large format camera. The photographs include formal ‘nudes’ such as Rounded, a picture reminiscent of Edward Weston’s similar tributes to the female form. Other photographs explore the canine models as other animals, such as Bat Bird and Pet. But not to be overlooked is Wegman’s innate sense for psychology as witnessed in Puppet in which dog and female model become one new being.
It is often the laughter and comedy which observers first sense, but at the core of the pictures is a poignant sense for the human condition. Witness the representation of the eyes throughout Wegman’s work. They have the ‘look’ of the melancholy clown whose silly antics never quite hide the sadness in his eyes. But scratch the surface of these sometimes comic visions and you will find the work of a conceptualist, addressing questions of perception and preconception.