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Welling’s ‘Wyeth’

James Welling, 4580, 2007, inkjet print, 101.6 × 134.3cm, from the series Glass House. Courtesy the artist, Maureen Paley, London and David Zwirner, New York
Caoimhín Mac Giolla Léith reviews the early assessment of James Welling as part of the Pictures Generation, arguing that his work over the past thirty years shows a fascination with a variety of modes of representation as much as with representation itself. ‘I gave up painting like Andrew Wyeth in the first month of undergraduate art school’. James Welling’s deceptively offhand remark appears in parentheses in an interview with Lyle Rexer from 2010, as he recalls how, as a student in the 1970s, he ‘came to photography through the eye of Minimalism and post-Minimalism’.