Exhibitions/ Art Object

Light Off / Light On

Artist:
William Wegman (American, born 1943)
Date:
1970
Medium:
Gelatin silver prints
Dimensions:
Images: ca. 10 3/4 × 10 1/2 in. (27.3 × 26.7 cm), each
Framed: 15 1/4 × 23 1/4 × 1 3/4 in. (38.7 × 59 × 4.4 cm)
Classification:
Photographs
Credit Line:
Gift of William Wegman, 2017
Accession Number:
2017.430.8
Rights and Reproduction:
© William Wegman, Courtesy of the Artist
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 851
The task of turning a light on or off is as minimal as pressing the shutter release on a camera. In this diptych, one of the first photographic works Wegman made in California, the artist eschews art photography’s dependence on fancy technique, perfect moments, and surprising subjects, and instead opts for a witty play on sameness and difference via banal scenes and actions. Like his contemporary John Baldessari, Wegman asks the viewer to locate the art in images thoroughly evacuated of traditional signifiers of meaning: Does it reside in the object itself, the subject depicted, or simply in the mind of the viewer?
William Wegman

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