William Wegman is perhaps best known for his photographs of his Weimaraners and although this work was generously represented in the exhibition, Hello Nature explored the inspiration behind all of Wegman’s work. In addition to his photos, the exhibition also included Wegman’s paintings, drawings, collages, and films, a highly personal investigations of nature and its meaning in our culture.
William Wegman was born in Holyoke, Massachusetts in 1943. He received a BFA degree in painting from the Massachusetts College of Art, Boston, in 1965, and an MFA in painting and graphic arts from the University of Illinois in 1967. Today, he divides his time between New York and Maine.
Wegman’s art has been exhibited in museums and galleries all over the world. Recent exhibitions include Funney/Strange, a retrospective which travelled to the Brooklyn Museum of Art and the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington. In the Nordic countries, a Wegman retrospective was presented in 1998 at Rooseum – Center for Contemporary Art in Malmö. The exhibition then travelled to Göteborg Art Museum, the Museum for Photography in Odense, and to KIASMA in Helsinki.
Wegman is also the author of many books including 13 books for children and the New York Times bestseller Puppies (1999). Together with his dogs Wegman has created projects for the National Geographic, the New Yorker, the Colbert Report, Saturday Night Live, Nickelodeon, and Sesame Street, where his films with the dogs have been shown since 1989. Wegman’s film The Hardly Boys in Hardly Gold was shown at the Sundance Film Festival 1996.
Recently, Wegman collaborated with Acne Studios to photograph their spring 2013 collection.
William Wegman has received countless awards and grants, including the New York Foundation for the Arts Honor, two Guggenheim Fellowships, and two National Endowment for the Arts grants.
A version of the exhibition William Wegman: Hello Nature. How to Draw, Paint, Cook and Find Your Way was exhibited at the Bowdoin College of Art, Brunswick, Maine in 2012
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Growing up in rural Massachusetts before anyone I knew had a television set, I spent most of my time in the woods. Home of the rabbit, the squirrel, and the deer, the pheasant, the woodchuck, and the chickadee to name a few.
In school I was known for my shyness and my artwork. Sometimes I made paintings of Indian lore from pictures in theBook of Knowledge using pigment I extracted from berries. I was part Indian. Anti-cowboy. I loved feathers and had a collection of arrowheads. I got hooked on the Hardy Boys novels, reading them by flashlight long after I was supposed to be asleep.
Many of the works that turned up in this exhibition recall my childhood preoccupations, ideas that my higher degrees of education could not displace. I continue to work in my studio in Maine. Some days are spent perusing my books, writing, cutting, pasting, painting. Other days I go out with my camera, the dogs, and a few props along for no apparent reason. Just to be on the lake, in the woods, on a trail. Just like any other Maine artist.