James Welling, Olsen House in Snow, 2010. Photo courtesy of James Welling.
The Brandywine River Museum shakes things up with a thoughtful solo exhibition by Los Angeles-based conceptual photographer James Welling, whose ongoing Wyeth series takes inspiration from and pays homage to the 20th-century American artist Andrew Wyeth. For this series, Welling shot photos on location in Maine and Pennsylvania—the same areas where Wyeth painted throughout his life. The show marks a sea change for the museum, which rarely presents contemporary art and has never before exhibited photography.
With exhibition development funded by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage, Things Beyond Resemblance explores the mechanisms of influence, across media, from subconscious borrowings to more direct appropriations. Using color photography, Welling evokes Wyeth's aesthetic, particularly the importance of place as the photographer treads in the painter's footsteps at the Kuerner Farm and other iconic sites in Chadds Ford. The Museum has also commissioned Welling to create a site-specific installation on its grounds—Gradients, which explores the intersection of photography and sculpture.