Artists Including Me

20150211_13183220150211_131816 20150211_131808I was able to capture a few photos before the guard caught me.  This was my personal favorite in the gallery.  It is a mix of postcards and oil painting, titled I Kandinsky, 2011.  I don’t know if it was because of the enormity of it or the oddly organized chaos but I was mesmerized by this monster of a painting.

The show I chose to attend was the “Artists Including Me” at Krannert Art Museum on campus.  The featured artist was William Wegman.  This gallery was a contemporary one that incorporated many classic ideas and artists into his work.  The exhibition was set up in a seemingly small room compared to the rest of the museum.  Some of the images were presented together in a series to promote motion or to show similarities.  Others were spread apart due to size or topic.  The paintings ranged anywhere from about the size of my notebook to roughly 12 x 6 ft and anywhere in between.  About 75% of the pieces were oil and postcards on wood palettes.  the other 25% were colored Polaroids of a dog positioned with other pieces of artwork – such as statues.  The artist’s combination of classic and modern not only made me chuckle but also more deeply appreciate the important aspects of both styles.

Wegman’s mesh of photography and painting is quite humorous at times but can also aid in adding a sense of texture and depth to the pieces.  The piece that struck me as the most interesting is the one in the pictures above.  However, I was also drawn to Reinstallation, 2013.  I was not able to snap a picture of it because I was told that was not appropriate by the guard that inconveniently walked by.  The piece was an oil/postcard mix; it portrayed what appeared to be a gallery of paintings of famous people in history.  All the portraits within the piece were postcards that were seamlessly blended into the rest of the work.  The colors in this painting were cool colors but very rich tones of them.  There were visible brush strokes in all directions adding texture and variety to the work.  The value of the colors added depth and perspective.

I found this painting to be so interesting because he combined so many moments of history into one single surface.  It has the power to bring so many memories with one glance, as does the previous picture I posted earlier in the semester of the attack on the Twin Towers.  The differences are evident in that Wegman is able to capture many different time periods in his work where my previously chosen photo captures one snapshot in history.  However, they both have a magnificent impact on historical memory.

Reinstallation has the ability to tell so much with one work that it is hard to know where to begin to decipher its contents.  The lady in the middle of the piece looks as if she has a secret.  Her expression led me to believe that she knew something I do not.  It is as if she is collecting the art for her own personal gain and to keep them from the rest of the world.  She has this gallery full of famous me all to herself.  She seems a little selfish to me.

I picked up a brochure from the exhibit just so I could read more about Mr. Wegman.  The inside included a few more pictures of his work and a question/answer interview format from the artist.  I found this to be very interesting and informational.  It gives a little more insight into his world and works.

I’m sort of buried in them [postcards] and I couldn’t possibly stop making these paintings now even if I wanted to because I have too much material.  And I can’t stop photographing the dogs because they stare at me all day.

~William Wegman


One comment

  1. elfinsbl21 · February 19, 2015

    Love your selfies!!! You’re so excited to be with the work! Love it! Your description of how the photos formally add texture but conceptually add depth and meaning is right on point. I think the idea of memory is key to both works, one is an iconic memory, one creates the sense of memory through layers, but both deal with memory. There is something really interesting about compulsion and the need to do things in your final quote. Great job.


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