William Wegman: Bowwowing The Art World

William Wegman's dog photos are funny; his paintings can be too. But a new show of his work raises the question, What's left when the laughs are over?

Whether or not the dog is man's best friend, it's been good to William Wegman. For many years Wegman's best friend was Man Ray, a soulful blue-gray Weimaraner that is by now the most famous artist's model since Alfred Stieglitz picked up the scent of Georgia O'Keeffe. In the oversize Polaroids that Wegman started making in the late 1970s, Man Ray can be found patiently enduring whatever new conceit his master would visit on him. Dusted in flour, tricked up as an elephant, wrapped head to toe in Christmas-tree garlands, he had the comic gravity of Buster Keaton and the acrobatic...

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