“Like much of Welling’s work Light Sources taps into memories and emotions in the viewer, about darkness, strange places, and the wonder of that which attracts us for reasons unknown. It is a trope for the seductions of the quickly glimpsed, the half remembered, the partially understood, qualities that Welling wants to hold up, examine, and admire without piercing the fragile surface of their own fugitive grace.” -Carol Squiers, Artforum (1998)
American artist James Welling creates work which challenges the technical and conceptual bounds of photography. In his abstract photographs of the 1980s he usually employed simple materials, like crumpled aluminum foil, draped fabric and pastry dough. Then in 1992 he began the series Light Sources, an open-ended accumulation of diverse portraits, landscapes and interiors. All these photographs indirectly refer to the process of perception and while many of the objects literally transmit light, the series acknowledges that everything we see reflects light and is also a source of light.