About the Photographer
American, b. 1943
William Wegman's Weimaraners – Man Ray, Fay Ray, and her puppies – have become a part of the standard iconography of contemporary photography. Since 1970, Wegman has painted, photographed, and created videos of his dogs in a wide variety of witty, anthropomorphic tableaus. Stabled takes his "actors" out of the standard studio setting and places them within an equally unexpected scenic landscape.
Since the late 1960s, William Wegman has created photographs, paintings, drawings, and videos. As a performance and video artist in the 1960s, Wegman originally turned to these media as alternatives to painting and drawing. His need to document his performances eventually led him to photography. At first Wegman employed video; his pieces Gray Hairs (1974-1975) and Man Ray, Man Ray (1978) were created at WGBH in Boston. Dog Baseball (1986), which was made for Saturday Night Live, and pieces for Sesame Street (1989-1994) followed. Later, in the late seventies, Wegman was introduced to the 20 × 24 Polaroid camera with which he produced his series of humorously theatrical photographs of the dogs. Recently, Wegman has turned to post cards and nineteenth century photographs as starting points for his work. Extending the subject of the card or photo beyond its edges with watercolor paint, Wegman weaves several images together by supplying their possible connections.
Born in Massachusetts in 1943, Wegman received his BFA from The University of Illinois, Champaign in 1967. His work has been showcased in solo exhibitions at the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; International Museum of Photography, George Eastman House, Rochester, New York; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, among other venues.