James Welling at Donald Young Gallery
What a cool show Donald Young Gallery currently has up. I have always loved the photographs of James Welling, but I have never before seen his highly abstract works paired with his more traditional ones. Somehow it really works. Inspired by the paintings of Andrew Wyeth, Welling photographs environments that remind him of or are actual settings from Wyeth’s works in Maine and Pennsylvania. The photos are simple yet profound.
One in particular that caught my eye was a view into two rooms, a door jamb bisecting the composition. No furniture fills either room, but the muted, soft glow of light from the window transfixed me.
The larger abstract works use the color that I am familiar with in Welling’s work. By wetting the photographic paper and then exposing it, Welling uses a color enlarger to create an image that he then reworks digitally. The juxtaposition of the two types of photographs seems odd, but they play off of each other. Walking through the show I felt a a sense of calm come over me–a rarity this day and age.
“James Welling” runs through Aug. 19 at Donald Young Gallery, 224 S.Michigan Ave., Ste. 266.
All photos courtesy of Donald Young Gallery