Explore the Era

Delve into the postwar Los Angeles art world in this online archive, which provides additional material related to the exhibitions on view at the Getty Center. Learn about hipsters and happenings, and the venues across the city where all the action took place through images from the archives and first-hand accounts with the artists.

Constructing a Saw Horse

Constructing a Saw Horse

Constructing a Saw Horse, 1972, William Wegman. Gelatin silver print. 13 1/2 x 10 3/4 in. © William Wegman

On View at the Getty Center: In Focus Los Angeles 1945-1980

Though he completed undergraduate and graduate degrees in painting, William Wegman is best known for his photographs, which he began
to create in the late 1960s. He moved to Southern California in the fall of 1970 to teach at California State University, Long Beach, and spent the following year in Santa Monica, surrounded by artists who had similarly begun to incorporate photography in their exploration of conceptual art. In addition to his dog Man Ray, the first of many Weimaraners he would own over the course of the next several decades, Wegman featured himself in these early photographs, using mirroring, doubling, or language to suggest before-and-after scenarios or other narratives. An element of the absurd is introduced in this multiple exposure in which the artist busies himself with the construction of a sawhorse.