James Welling, 6236, 2008. Digital ink-jet print. H 33 5/8, W 50 1/2 in.
“James Welling: Glass House,” which opened at Regen Projects in Los Angeles on Jan 30th, is a collection of experimental photographs that constitute a visual dialogue with Phillip Johnson’s modernist masterpiece known simply as Glass House. Built in 1949 in rural Connecticut, this minimalist residence is a one-story rectangular structure whose walls are all made from glass. This unusual building was the architect’s home, and has since become a protected site under the Naitonal Trust for Historic Preservation. Welling’s photographs document and expand upon the glass building’s unique interaction with the natural environment.
Welling, known for his experiemental processes and asbstract photography,has been photographing the Glass House since 2006. He began by shoting through colored filters from a previous series, Hexachromes, but his techniques developed using a wide array of filters including clear glass, clear plastic, fogged plastic, pieces of glass that were slightly uneven or tinted, and finally a diffraction filter that breaks light into spectrums. Welling describes the progression of his process in Artforum: “When I realized I could make the grass red or make sun flares, splatters, and different types of visual activity in front of this supposedly transparent house, or box, the project became a laboratory for ideas about transparency, reflectivity, and color.”
Welling’s photos use the glass surface to create illusive compositions melding nature and architecture. He has a unique understanding of the physicallity of photography and co-ops the house for his own purposes, as if it is an extension of his camera. “What is revolutionary about Johnson’s house is its conceptual use of glass,” Welling says, “It’s a lens in the landscape.”
Along side his the Glass House Series (2006-2009), Welling’s video installation Sun Pavillion (2009) will debut. The exhibition will run through March 6th at Regen Projects in Los Angeles and will open at David Zwimmer Gallery in New York on March 24th.
IF YOU GO:
January 30 – March 6, 2010
Tuesday–Saturday, 10 AM – 6 PM
9016 Santa Monica Boulevard
Los Angeles, California 90069