American photographer, video artist, conceptual artist, sculptor, draughtsman and painter. He studied painting at the Massachusetts College of Art, Boston, MA (BFA, 1965), and at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, IL (MFA. 1967). During these years he produced Minimalist sculptures and paintings. In the early 1970s he used video and photography, primarily as a means of documenting such conceptual works as Untied On Tied Off (1972), a photograph of the artist’s feet with one shoe on, untied, the other with the shoe tied to his ankle. These documents gave way to photographs that took on greater artistic qualities in terms of composition and technique, while he continued to use concepts and approaches seen in the earlier pieces (particularly irony, humour and satire on both popular culture and the high culture of contemporary art). He was most well known in the 1970s for his photographic and video works featuring his Weimaraner dog, Man Ray. By 1979 Wegman was working with large-format Polaroid film, a hyper-realistic medium highly paradoxical to the contrived situations in which Man Ray was placed, for example Frog/Frog II (1982; Col. Helen Lewis Meyer), for which Wegman attached green fins and artificial frog’s eyes to Man Ray. He started making drawings c. 1973, many of which were executed in pencil on typing paper. They combine a Minimalist aesthetic with humour and often cynical satire, and in many an inscribed text is an integral part (e.g. Ol’ Blue Nose, 1976). He continued with colour photography into the late 1980s, with his new dog Fay Ray, but in 1985 he also turned to painting. In a Post-modernist vein, these works possess a translucent tonality and linear decoration reminiscent of the work of Raoul Dufy. These works, such as Migratory Architecture (1988; New York, Holly Solomon Gal.), were bereft of humour but contained a juxtaposition of imagery from various cultural contexts.
From Grove Art Online
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