James Welling has created beautiful and challenging photographs for over thirty-five years. Operating in the hybrid ground between painting and sculpture and traditional photography, he is a foremost photographic practitioner enthralled with the possibilities of the medium. Since the mid-1970s, Welling’s practice has unflaggingly shifted to address an impressive array of issues and ideas: personal and cultural memory, the tenets of realism and transparency, abstraction and representation, optics and description, and the material and chemical nature of photography. His program, in particular, helps refine our definition of a photograph while offering a meaningful new paradigm for contemporary art. Monograph is the most comprehensive survey to date of this singular artist. It witnesses Welling’s sustained relevance and enviable staying power in this field while simultaneously explicating the primary strands that permeate this artist’s seemingly disparate oeuvre over three decades.
Los Angeles-based artist Shannon Ebner’s work investigates the correlations between photography and language. Informed by various modes of writing—including poetry, experimental writing, and political speech—Ebner constructs images in the studio and the landscape. She builds letters and phrases out of vernacular materials such as cardboard, wood, and cinder blocks, calling attention to the ways language and imagery are constructed. For her Hammer Project, she will exhibit a portion of an on-going project called “The Electric Comma,” which began as a poem she wrote of the same name about various conditions of the photographic, such as its alleged static nature and its vocation of describing events of the past. The poem, or as Ebner refers to it, “the photographic sentence,” seeks to enliven the image by subjecting it to various challenges that ask the photograph to perform outside its usual function of reporting or depicting events, people, places, and things of our time.
Wendy Yao, owns and runs DIY indie-punk artist space/shop Ooga Booga, which she has grown from a tiny store in Chinatown to an internationally known name in the worlds of art and cool. She recently opened a second location, Ooga Twooga at 356 Mission, four times the size of the first. Everything in her stores, from artists’ books and editions to clothes and accessories, reflects her uniquely Los Angeles vision. Yao is also a founding member of Emily’s Sassy Lime (Kill Rock Stars), an all-Asian American teenage riot grrrl trio from Southern California, formed in 1993 by Wendy and Amy Yao, and Emily Ryan.