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News : Arts Jan 8, 2013 - 5:53:37 AM

The Westport Arts Center Will Open Its Doors to an Unconventional Traveler: William Wegman

By The Westport Arts Center (WAC) will shine a light on William Wegman’s very own “virtual travels” this winter.

Westport Arts Center

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William Wegman. Courtesy WilliamWegman Studio
“William Wegman: The Traveler,” an exhibition in the WAC Gallery at 51 Riverside Avenue, Westport, will feature an eclectic mix of postcard paintings, drawings, Polaroids, and video, illustrating Wegman’s career-long incorporation of found images. Works date from the mid-1980s to new paintings on view for the first time. Vintage cards expand into skillful and whimsically painted landscapes, cityscapes, and abstract atmospheres of investigative play.

An opening reception for the exhibition will be held on Friday, January 25, 6:30 - 8pm. Free and open to the public, this event will feature William Wegman signing copies of his books, along with food and drink. The exhibition and reception are sponsored by Thomas Hoftstetter, The Saugatuck Group -Morgan Stanley Wealth Management.

In response to the exhibition, Westport Arts Center Director of Visual Arts and exhibition curator, Helen Klisser During, states: “I’ve admired William Wegman’s work for years — it is witty, humorous, skillful, and endearing. I thought the Westport Arts Center would be a marvelous platform to exhibit Wegman’s postcard paintings. In these paintings he skillfully and playfully engages his audience on a virtual traveling adventure of his mind. Now we can travel with him.”

Weaving, merging, and almost camouflaging the found cards, Wegman creates distinctive environments where countries and cultures collide. At times, Wegman reinforces the postcard’s narrative within his painted composition. At other times, he transforms the feeling of the pictured scene by creating a believable yet imagined world that exists beyond the edges.

Born in Holyoke, Massachusetts, in 1943, Wegman received a BFA from the Massachusetts College of Art, Boston and an MFA from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. His work has exhibited extensively in both the United States and abroad, including solo exhibitions at the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis (1982); San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (1988); Whitney Museum of American Art (1992); Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (2001); and The Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto (2002). In 2006, the retrospective William Wegman: Funney/Strange was held at the Brooklyn Museum, and traveled to the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C.; the Norton Museum of Art, Palm Beach, FL; the Addison Gallery of American Art, Andover, MA; and Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus, OH (2006-2007). Most recently, the Bowdoin College Museum of Art presented William Wegman: Hello Nature, a major survey of over 100 nature-related works by Wegman in various media (2012). The exhibition was accompanied by an extensive illustrated catalogue, Hello Nature: How to Draw, Paint, Cook and Find Your Way.

William Wegman is represented by Sperone Westwater, New York.

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