Writing by Artist
Author: William Wegman
Editor: Andrew Lampert
Publisher: Primary Information (2022)
Writing by Artist is the first collection to focus on William Wegman’s lengthy and deeply funny relationship to language and is filled with previously unknown and wildly entertaining texts, drawings, and early photographs spanning the early 1970s to the present.
Not your standard book of essays, the publication was meticulously edited by Andrew Lampert to feature works incorporating words in one form or another. In some instances, the text is simply a caption or a few hand-written words, but all of the selected works hinge conceptually and pictorially on writing and language.
Writing by Artist offers a wide range of entry points into the artist’s universe. There are early photographic works, which may be familiar, but from there, things delightfully unravel with absurd non-sequiturs typed on Princess Cruises stationary, imagined restaurant reviews, witty annotations to a curator’s essay, musings on ancient footwear, deliberate mistranslations, reworked greeting cards, fictional advertisements for real life products, and other surprising prose forms.
Ultimately, Writing by Artists alters the logic and pushes the boundaries of what artist writing can be—shedding new light for those only familiar with Wegman’s later work, while serving as a welcome reminder of the artist’s madcap inventiveness for the already enlightened. In short, what you do or don’t know about William Wegman now conveniently fits into this strangely beguiling collection.