James Welling: Glass House
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  • Year: 2011
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Damiani
  • Page: 112
  • Cover: hardcover

Over the course of three years (2006-2009), James Welling photographed the 1949 house and estate of the acclaimed modernist architect Philip Johnson in New Canaan, CT. Using digital cameras set on a tripod and holding a variety of filters in front of the lens, Welling was able to create coloured veils and distortions that transformed the image at the moment of exposure. The intense colour created by these gels, along with unexpected views, produce a radically new way of looking at Johnson’s iconic house. Although the Glass House is symmetrical, the frontal view which allows one to see through the house to the landscape most fascinated Welling. The big glass box, plonked down in the Connecticut landscape seemed like a conceptual sculpture, a gigantic lens in the landscape. The project became a laboratory for ideas about transparency, reflectivity, and colour. With this work, Welling continues to explore his longtime interest in colour phenomena and trichromatic vision, the process by which our eyes and brain work together to perceive the visible spectrum.

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