Agricultural Works, an exhibition of new work by contemporary photographer James Welling, that merges nature, culture and industry of the Hudson River Valley through color photography and music will premiere at the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art at the State University of New York at New Paltz, New York, on February 7th. The exhibition is on view through April 8, 2004.
About the Project: Agricultural Works comprises photographs and musical soundtrack that document a rich array of subjects identified with the region: farmland, crops, livestock, vineyards, farm buildings, machinery and tools in the counties north of New York City. The project was developed collaboratively with Will Welling, the photographer's brother, a musician living in the Albany area. For the past three years James Welling has been photographing farms in northern New York counties and Will Welling has been composing original music on the theme of agriculture. Agriculture Works will include James Welling's photographs, and a live performance of Will Welling's music by The Please and Thank You String Band at the opening reception on February 8, 2004.
About the Artist: James Welling is often identified with the postmodern photography movement that came to critical attention in the early 1980s. This group of artists, which also includes Louise Lawler, Cindy Sherman and Barbara Kruger challenged the idea of photographic transparency and truth. For the past 16 years, Welling has worked on a series of documentary photography projects in the United States and in Europe: Railroad Photographs (1987-94); The Architecture of H.H. Richardson, (1988-94); Calais Lace Factories, (1993); Wolfsburg, (1994); Light Sources, (1992-98) and Los Angeles, (2003).
James Welling is vice chair of the Department of Art at UCLA. His recent work has been featured in exhibitions at the Palais des Beaux-Arts in Brussels; the Wexner Center for the Arts in Columbus; the Baltimore Museum of Art, and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles. His work is represented in the permanent collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Modern Art in New York; and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles.
Minetta Brook, a non-profit arts organization, originally commissioned this project as part of Watershed: The Hudson Valley Art Project - a series of new public artworks that brings together the natural and cultural geography of the Hudson River Valley while the valley is undergoing major change. Diane Shamash, Director of Minetta Brook, remarks:
"Watershed was created to help generate dialogue and engagement with these changing economic and cultural conditions. Participating artists were selected on the basis of their work's ability to reconnect communities to the history and present-day life of cities and towns along the Hudson River, either directly through participatory projects or by increasing public access and involvement with the natural geography of the Hudson River."
Opening Reception: A reception for the artist will be held in the Chandler Gallery on Sunday, February 8th from 2:00 - 4:00 p.m. with a performances by Will Welling and the Please & Thank You String Band at 2:30 and 3:00 p.m. It is free and open to all.
Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art State University of New York at New Paltz 75 S. Manheim Blvd. New Paltz, New York
Museum hours: Wednesday - Saturday 11:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Sunday 1:00 - 5:00 p.m. Closed on Mondays, Tuesdays, university intersessions and national holidays. Museum Information: (845) 257-3844 or on the Web at www.newpaltz.edu/museum.
About the Museum: The Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art is dedicated to collecting, researching, interpreting, and exhibiting works of art from diverse cultures. The permanent collection spans a period of almost 4,000 years. Areas of specialization include 20th century paintings and works on paper, Asian and Pre-Columbian art and artifacts, metals and photographs. SDMA has a special commitment to collecting and exhibiting important works of art created by artists who have lived and worked in the Hudson Valley and Catskill regions. The Museum is a major cultural resource in the Hudson Valley serving a broad-based constituency from both on and beyond the New Paltz campus.
About Minetta Brook: Minetta Brook is a non-profit arts organization that encourages new forms of public engagement with art, artists, and life on the Hudson River waterfront through projects designed to strengthen the relationship between contemporary artists and communities throughout New York State.
Sponsors: Agricultural Works is dedicated to the memory of Adeline Dorsky. Generous funding for this exhibition is provided by The Dorsky Foundation, Inc.
Watershed is made possible with major funding from Lee Balter, The Reed Foundation, Inc. and The Scenic Hudson Land Trust, Inc. Generous support is also provided by the City of Beacon; Dia Art Foundation; The Dutchess County Industrial Development Agency; Educational Foundation of America; Glynwood Center; Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area; Lannan Foundation; LEF Foundation; The M&T Charitable Foundation; National Endowment for the Arts; New York State Department of State; Philip Morris Companies; The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation; The Surdna Foundation; Beacon Terminal Associates; and private individuals.
Images from this exhibition are available at http://www.newpaltz.edu/news/images/RedBarn2001-72-01- 04.html