new-york

James Welling, 4910, 2015, ink-jet print, 63 × 42".

James Welling

David Zwirner | 537 West 20th Street

James Welling, 4910, 2015, ink-jet print, 63 × 42".

The title of James Welling’s show—“Choreograph”—suggests an affinity between the artist’s principal medium, photography, and dance. If the former’s etymology is meant to convey the act of drawing with light (the “pencil of nature,” as William Henry Fox Talbot memorably put it in 1844), choreography, understood as the design of bodily movements, implies a sort of corporeal inscription of space. Welling’s new works, presenting nearly life-size photographs of expressively posed dancers, staged within what appear to be multiple exposures of unnaturally colored wintry landscapes and the geometric surfaces of modern architecture, can be seen as a summation of the artist’s career-long exploration of photography as a means to confound and expand stylistic distinctions (most notably between abstraction and representation) and discrete art forms and media. The complex imagery of

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