William Wegman

(b. 1943)
Lot 266
William Wegman
Golfer; Rain Ready (2)
Estimate: $2,000 - $3,000
Price Realized: $4,063
September 30, 2018
Lot 267
William Wegman
Hobos; Three for the Road (2)
Estimate: $2,000 - $3,000
Price Realized: $4,500
September 30, 2018
Lot 268
William Wegman
Legs to Legs; Drumming (2)
Estimate: $2,000 - $3,000
September 30, 2018
Lot 269
William Wegman
Ying Yang; Cloud Buster (2)
Estimate: $2,000 - $3,000
September 30, 2018
Lot 193
William Wegman
Untitled (from the Cinderella Portfolio)
Estimate: $800 - $1,200
Price Realized: $800
March 5, 2017
Lot 363
William Wegman
Hand Some
Estimate: $1,500 - $2,000
Price Realized: $3,750
October 11, 2015
Lot 257
William Wegman
Knot
Estimate: $4,000 - $6,000
Price Realized: $4,687
May 17, 2015
Lot 258
William Wegman
Bad Dog (Dog Study)
Estimate: $1,000 - $1,500
Price Realized: $812
May 17, 2015
Lot 181
William Wegman
Hand Some
Estimate: $1,500 - $2,000
Price Realized: $2,500
March 1, 2015
Lot 171
William Wegman
Untitled
Estimate: $2,500 - $3,500
Price Realized: $2,812
February 23, 2014
Lot 511
William Wegman
Little Red Riding Hood
Estimate: $3,000 - $5,000
Price Realized: $5,000
October 13, 2013
Lot 79
William Wegman
Shoe Head
Estimate: $3,000 - $5,000
Price Realized: $1,875
May 19, 2013
Lot 376
William Wegman
Fairy Godmother Spell
Estimate: $3,000 - $5,000
Price Realized: $6,250
October 7, 2012
Lot 244
William Wegman
Outing
Estimate: $3,000 - $5,000
Price Realized: $3,750
May 6, 2012
Lot 443
William Wegman
Interiors (suite of four panels)
Estimate: $5,000 - $7,000
Price Realized: $5,000
December 11, 2011
Lot 158
William Wegman
On Mrs. Wegman's Couch; after Courbet
Estimate: $3,000 - $4,000
Price Realized: $3,750
June 26, 2011
Lot 364
William Wegman
Handsome
Estimate: $2,000 - $3,000
Price Realized: $1,837
May 23, 2010
Lot 65
William Wegman
Handsome
Estimate: $1,000 - $1,500
Price Realized: $1,320
June 29, 2008

About The Artist

 

Multimedia artist William Wegman is a real dog person. He told a journalist that some people "are so doggy, everything they do is sort of a dog thing," only to insist that he is not one of those people. Surely this is evidence of his droll sense of humor, since he is best-known for living, working, and playing with Wiemaraner dogs for most of his artistic career. In the 1970s with large-format (20 x 24) Polaroid cameras he shot wry, comic tableaux: the regal breed deadpan, juxtaposed with human props, in anthropomorphic situations.

Wegman came of artistic age during the 1960s and embraced conceptual art and video; he also draws, sculpts, and paints. He claims his influences were artists like Ed Ruscha and Bruce Nauman, along with radio show comedians. By the early 1970s he exhibited nationally and internationally: he was included in the seminal Live in Your Head. When Attitudes Become Form: Works-Concepts-Processes-Situations-Information (1969-1970) at the Kunsthalle Bern, Switzerland, and in Documenta V in Kassel, Germany in 1972. During this time Wegman moved to Long Beach and taught at the California State University for one year. There he bought his first Wiemaraner for $25 dollars–he named him Man Ray. What followed was a long and fruitful artistic collaboration. One video involved the artist reading a school report card to the dog, and in one photo the dark brown Man Ray is covered in poured flour. Wegman achieved both popular success and critical esteem-perhaps his art worked as a charismatic antidote to the Watergate era.

After Man Ray’s death, in 1985 a sympathetic dog breeder offered Wegman a female Weimaraner puppy, which the artist named Fay Ray (after Fay Wray, the female lead actress in “King Kong”). Besides his conceptual video and photographic work, he created film and video segments which aired on “Saturday Night Live, “Sesame Street,” and the Nickelodeon channel; a film that went to the Sundance Film Festival, commercial imagery for magazines, and both artist and children’s books.

Numerous solo exhibitions and surveys have been made of Wegman’s work. The retrospective William Wegman: Funney/Strange was held at the Brooklyn Museum in 2006, and traveled to, among others, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C.; and the Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus. In 2012 a major survey of over 100 nature-related works in various media-William Wegman: Hello Nature-was presented at the Bowdoin College Museum of Art in Maine, and traveled to Sweden in 2013. William Wegman lives in New York and Maine with his wife, children, and Bobbin, the great-grandson of Fay Ray; along with Wiemaraners Astro, Flo, and Topper. He continues to work in video, photography, drawing, and painting.

 

Conley, Kevin. “William Wegman: His wry, wildly popular photography owes a great debt to the gifted performance artists he works with.” Salon. Salon Media Group, 8 Feb. 2000. Web. 8 June 2015.
Schonauer. David. "William Wegman's Theory of Dogs and Dogginess." The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.Com, 2 Sept. 2011. Web. 8 June 2015.
“William Wegman: About the Artist.” William Wegman. William Wegman, 2010. Web. 8 June 2015.

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