William Wegman

Art history is punctuated by great collaborations between artists and their models: Richard Avedon and Dovima; Irving Penn and Lisa Fonssigrives; and of course William Wegman and his dogs Man Ray and Fay Ray.

Wegman’s collaboration with his first model, a male Weimaraner named Man Ray began in the late 1970s and continued until Man Ray’s death in 1982 at age thirteen.  Six years since Ray’s death, it is quite clear that Wegman has found a new and willing subject in Fay Ray, a young female Weimaraner.

The exhibition will include fifteen unique 20 X 24” Polaroid prints made with the large format camera also used for his studies of Ray.  The shots range from straight portraits of Fay and her friends to complicated studio set ups.  This work continues the same tail-wagging sense of humor as the previous pictures, and clearly illustrate that a genuinely new and endearing relationship has been established.  Fay is more lithe and limber than Ray and has her own ideas as to what makes a good photograph.  Wegman says that “she’s more vulnerable, whereas he (Ray) was more stoic.”

Wegman’s understanding of his canine collaborators is keen, but one look at Fay in a wig and shoes (Afganistand), or sunk back in an overstuffed chair with guitar in lap (Slow Guitar), or in a straightforward portrait triptych (Cinnamon Girl) shows that the understanding works in both directions and that this is nothing short of a true partnership.

This exhibition will be concurrent with the exhibitions: WILLIAM WEGMAN: Polaroids and Videos at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and WILLIAM WEGMAN: Paintings and Drawings at Rena Bransten Gallery.

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