Artipelag Konstmuseum and the Wegner Exhibit
The Artipelag is a 10,400 sq. meter facility 20 km. from the city center on the island of Värmdö in the Stockholm Archipelago. Artipelag (www.artipelag.sw) provides a magnificent display space of 1,800 sq. meters, great outdoor views, an acclaimed restaurant as well as a café/buffet, theatre and conference space, a guest harbor, and boat tours from downtown Stockholm.
The interior space features lofty ceilings with expansive seaward and woodland views. Nature is brought inside to visitors with bedrock back walls and a large crag protruding up though the restaurant floor. Spacious wooden decks, 750 meters of wooded and seafront boardwalk together with wood-chip walking paths, and a rooftop terrace further connects visitors to the natural surroundings.
Artipelag has no permanent exhibit so it focuses on touring exhibits. Its stated mission is to “host exciting new exhibitions of classical, modern, and contemporary art, and to explore the borderland between fine art, crafts, and design.”
Wegman was born in Holyoke, Massachusetts in 1943 and grew up exploring the countryside. He earned a Fine Arts degree in painting from Boston’s Massachusetts College of Art and a Master of Fine Arts in painting from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana in 1967.
According to “William Wegman: Hello Nature – How to Draw, Paint, Cook, and Find Your Way,” published by Artiplelag Konsthall for this exhibit, conceptual art was coming into its own in America in the sixties as a counter movement to commercial arts’ infatuation with the object. Wegman adopted an “idea-based approach” and began staging short performances. Unlike many contemporaries who preferred a live audience, Wegman chose video. Wegman’s video had a low-budget, do-it-yourself feel, in contrast to professional filmmakers.
Wegman began to work with Man Ray, his Weimaraner in 1970 and focused more on staged studio photography than video. His work with Man Ray and generations of Weimaraners was a commentary on ancient and contemporary art that “contrasted with the naturalness” of the dogs. He gained increasing attention when he dressed his dogs in human clothes.
As a fan of the Hardy Boys mysteries, Wegman filmed his first Hardley Boys film – crime fighting Weimaraners — in 1995. In this exhibit’s film, “Hardly Gold,” the Weimaraner brothers Crooky and Battie, escape a psychotic nurse and save the day when they discover villains dumping toxic waste in the Rangely Lakes area of Maine, killing fish and other wildlife (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bfl3m9DHv9o).