William Wegman

Being Human

MASI Lugano
8 September 2019 – 23 February 2020

Curated by William A. Ewing
A project by The Foundation for the Exhibition
of Photography, Minneapolis/ New York/ Paris/ Lausanne
In partnership with Museo d’Arte della Svizzera italiana
Patronage of Embassy of the United States, Bern

W. Wegman
Constructivism, 2014
Color Polaroid
Courtesy the Artist
© William Wegman

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American video art pioneering and photographer William Wegman rose to prominence on the international art scene for images featuring his dogs. Ever since he encountered his first Weimaraner in the seventies, the photographer has made dogs of this breed the main focus of his photographs. These unusual canine muses have provided Wegman with the inspiration to look at fashion trends and movements in art history and ironically represent human stereotypes, from the dandy to the fashion model, from the astronaut to the housewife. The exhibition includes one hundred works selected by curator William A. Ewing in close collaboration with the artist himself. The works are divided into chapters focusing on particular themes or subjects. The pictures underline both the models’ spontaneity and the photographer’s skill, allowing the viewer to appreciate the exceptional harmony the artist establishes with his animals.

“Is it all really about dogs?” asks curator William A. Ewing. “The subject is us, we are them: the housewife, the astronaut, the lawyer, the priest, the farmer, and even a… dog-sitter! Some of them pose with pride and confidence, while others express uncertainty or vulnerability: they are human beings!”

Download Exhibition Folder


1 / 6
William Wegman, Casual, 2002
William Wegman, Casual, 2002
Color Polaroid
Courtesy the Artist © William Wegman
2 / 6
William Wegman, Constructivism, 2014
William Wegman, Constructivism, 2014
Pigment Print, Edition 3/4
Courtesy the Artist © William Wegman
3 / 6
William Wegman, George, 1997
William Wegman, George, 1997
Color Polaroid
Courtesy the Artist © William Wegman
4 / 6
William Wegman, Degno di notizia, 2004
William Wegman, Newsworthy, 2004
Color Polaroid
Courtesy the Artist © William Wegman
5 / 6
William Wegman, Sulla base, 2007
William Wegman, On Base, 2007
Color Polaroid
Courtesy the Artist © William Wegman
6 / 6
William Wegman, Lupo, 1994
William Wegman, Wolf, 1994
Color Polaroid
Courtesy the Artist © William Wegman


Ticket on-line

The Museum

Founded in 2015, after just a few years the Museo d'arte della Svizzera italiana (MASI Lugano) has become one of the most visited art museums in Switzerland. It forms a cultural bridge between the north and south of the Alps, between Latin and Germanic Europe. Through its two locations – the LAC cultural centre and the historic Palazzo Reali – it offers a rich programme with temporary exhibitions and changing collection presentations as well as a comprehensive, multilingual educational programme for visitors of all ages. The offer is complemented by the close collaborations with the Collezione Giancarlo e Danna Olgiati, which is part of the MASI network, entirely dedicated to contemporary art. MASI is one of the Swiss museums to be directly supported by the Swiss Federal Office of Culture and is also one of the “Art Museums of Switzerland”, the group of museums selected by Switzerland Tourism to promote the country’s cultural image worldwide.


Museo d'arte della Svizzera italiana
Lugano Arte e Cultura - Piazza Bernardino Luini 6, 6900 Lugano, Switzerland

From Tuesday to Sunday 10 am – 6 pm.
On Thursday open until 8 pm
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Tel +41 (0)58 866 42 40
10 am - 1 pm / 2-4 pm

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Website: www.masilugano.ch
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