Photography is a matter of eyes, intuition, and intellect. For eyes and intuition, no photographer was ever more richly endowed than Edward Weston.
Weston had been a skilful and successful photographer for more than a decade when in the early twenties his own unique vision began to reveal itself. By 1930, when he was forty-five, he had produced a body of work that would come to identify him as a major artist, a man whose work has changed our perception of what the world and life are like.
It was as though the things of everyday experience had been transformed for Weston into organic sculptures, the forms of which were both the expression and the justification of the life within. The exhilarating visual power of Weston's work is the product of a deeper achievement: He had freed his eyes of conventional expectation, and had taught them to see the statement of intent that resides in natural form.
The nude torso of Weston's son Neil is not a simile but a statement of fact; the boy's flesh is not like alabaster or bronze or the cheek of a peach; his body is not formed like a stone column or a wineskin or a root vegetable. This startlingly beautiful photograph is the more surprising because it describes with precision what we might have thought we already knew.
On formal grounds alone it is an eloquent picture. The profile of the body on the right side of the picture draws a beautiful line. The effect of this line depends on its closeness to the frame, the baseline against which its undulation is measured. A teacher of drawing once pointes out to his students, in trying to persuade them to use the whole sheet of paper, that a peanut in the bottom of a barrel was merely a spot, whereas a peanut in a penny matchbox was a piece of sculpture.
from "Looking at Photographs" by John Szarkowski
Now releasing at a price affordable for every fan, this lavish hardcover book with cloth cover and foil deboss contains 125 of Weston's well-known images and many lesser-known gems. Additionally, a detailed introduction, along with reproductions of many unseen photographs and ephemera help round out this ultimate tribute to a legendary photographer.
This book appears in conjunction with an exhibition organized by The Art Institute of Chicago that focuses on the late work of photographer Edward Weston. Taken between1938 and 1948, these images reveal his shift from his formalist style, characterized by technological virtuosity and innovative compositions, to one that accommodated a greater psychological component.
Edward Weston's large body of straightforward, elegant black-and-white photographs concentrate on natural forms--the human figure, seashells, plants and vegetables, and landscapes--eschewing romantic subjects and manipulated imagery. This volume features more than 300 duotone reproductions of Weston's work.
Margrethe Mather has been remembered mostly through the commentary of fellow photographer Edward Weston, who referred to her as "the first important person" in his life. In fact, Mather was probably the greatest influence on the development of Weston's early career.
- The photograph isolates and perpetuates a moment of time: an important and revealing moment, or an unimportant and meaningless one, depending upon the photographer's understanding of his subject and mastery of his process.