Man Ray, William Wegman's first Weimaraner, became a central figure in Wegman's photographs and videotapes, known in the art world and beyond for his endearing deadpan presence. In 1978, Wegman was invited by Polaroid Corporation to try out its mammoth 20 x 24" camera, and he began a series of photographs featuring Man Ray that were published in Abrams' Man's Best Friend. In 1986 a new dog, Fay Ray, came into Wegman's life and soon thereafter another famous collaboration began. After Man Ray died in 1982, Wegman continued his exploration of the medium with non-canine subjects, and he also began to work with the expanding universe of Fay Ray's progeny. Throughout the years, Wegman has maintained an extraordinary level of creativity, capturing his versatile subjects in a seemingly limitless variety of poses and guises. This book gathers together the best of his work - hundreds of unique, large-format photographs - with an insightful and candid essay by the artist exploring his experiences with the camera and his exceptional models. Though many of these images have become well known through exhibitions, books, and his best-selling calendars, some of the best had never been published when this book was originally released in 2002.
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Wegman's photographs, videotapes, paintings, and drawings have been exhibited in museums and galleries internationally.From Library Journal:
There's no shortage of opportunities to see photographer Wegman's work, with numerous books currently in print, together with a minor industry producing notecards, calendars, and T-shirts; his dog photographs may be some of the best-known images of any contemporary artist. This title showcases Wegman's efforts with the Polaroid 20 24 camera, although it is an open question as to whether the book's concept merits the publication of yet another Wegman title. Still, it is beautifully produced, with many color illustrations (almost all of his pet Weimaraners), foldouts, and a lively, easygoing text by Wegman, who studied art in the early 1970s when Conceptualism was at its most robust. His style developed out of the philosophical, questing strategies employed by Conceptual artists, and, while one can find echoes of those strategies here, absent is the searching, intellectual honesty that characterizes the best Conceptual art. Wegman's work is undeniably charming, often amusing, and occasionally quite moving. Given the exposure he has, however, libraries with limited budgets might consider purchasing books about lesser-known contemporary artists influenced by Conceptualism or one of several titles currently in print discussing the achievements of Conceptual art. For collections already possessing large holdings in art and photography.
Michael Dashkin, PricewaterhouseCoopers, New York
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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