Delaware Public Media

Artist James Welling talks Andrew Wyeth at Brandywine River Museum

Oct 28, 2015

Artist James Welling has consistently cited the influence Andrew Wyeth had on him as a young painter. But since the 1970s, Welling’s focus has been on photography. His work centers on an exploration of the medium, resulting in work, which he produces in various series.

Recently, Welling revisited his earliest artistic hero.

In 2010, a year after the death of Andrew Wyeth, artist James Welling began traveling to Chadds Ford to begin recording images in the places where Wyeth worked and lived.

James Welling-Door 2010

Shot on location in Pennsylvania and Maine, in the same areas where Wyeth painted throughout his life, this series includes new work created specifically for the exhibition.

Photographs from that five year series make up the exhibition “Things Beyond Resemblance: James Welling Photographs” now on view at the Brandywine River Museum of Art.

Welling began the Wyeth series as an examination of Andrew Wyeth's formative influence on Welling's career, from his earliest watercolors in the 1960s through his recent photographs.

James Welling-Two Trees 2010

“When I took up photography in 1976 after struggling with paintings, sculpture, and video, photography enabled me to incorporate some of the compositional devices that I’d inherited from looking very closely at Wyeth and they have a strong resemblance to Wyeth’s relationship to portraiture,” says Welling.

James Welling will discuss his project with Alex Klein, artist and curator at the Institute of Contemporary Art at the University of Pennsylvania, and a former student of Welling on Thursday at the Brandywine River Museum of Art.

This piece is made possible, in part, by a grant from the Delaware Division of the Arts, a state agency dedicated to nurturing and supporting the arts in Delaware, in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts.