The NGV presents the enigmatic work of William Wegman, renowned as a versatile artist who resists an easy classification, moving adroitly between painting, drawing, photography, film, video, books and performances.
When a Weimaraner joined the artist’s family in 1970, and showed both an aptitude and a passion for performance before the camera, Wegman had found his muse. Named Man Ray, in honour of one of Wegman’s most admired modern artists, this dog was the first in a line of highly spirited performers and became one of his most celebrated subjects.
For Wegman, his dogs, his muses, have been both the object of an artist’s obsessive gaze, and at other times participants in a collaborative act. His world may revolve around his celebrated dogs, but Wegman’s choices of sets, costumes and props reveal a fascination with art history – cubism, colour field painting, abstract expressionism, constructivism, conceptualism and, of course, photography itself.
This exhibition has been produced by the Foundation for the Exhibition of Photography, Minneapolis/ New York/Paris/Lausanne, in collaboration with the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Level 3, Contemporary Art & Design