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Weston: Photography and Modernism

Photography and Modernism

Only Weston could make a green pepper look sexy.

The current Edward Weston (1886-1958) exhibition at LACMA provides an opportunity to view the aesthetics and development of this modernist American photographer. Of the 140 prints featured here, many are familiar, while the more rare prints complete his body of work.

Beginning with his constructivist-inspired portraits from 1918-1922, this exhibition traces Weston’s career through the work he did at Armco Steel in 1922, and the three years he spent in Mexico with other artists and writers on the heels of the Mexican Revolution. Photographs of his beautiful model and fellow photographer Tina Modotti in Mexico convey emotion in addition to his aesthetic ideals of form and proportion.
It is after returning California in 1927 that Weston produced his most famous modernist photographs, including Chambered Nautilus (1927) and the anthropomorphic Pepper series. His abstract images of rocks and dunes in Northern California contrast well with his photographs of California roadside attractions and his classic nudes taken in the early 1930’s. Some telling photos of early Hollywood are also immensely interesting. Finally, Weston’s portraits of such luminaries as Jose Clemente Orozco, Igor Stravinsky and E.E. Cummings as well as some images imbued with hues of surrealism provides a closer look at his photographs up to the early 1940’s.

Not to be missed in terms of the opportunity to view a sizable amount of his photographs.

Edward Weston: Photography and Modernism
Los Angeles County Museum of Art
February 11, 1999 – May 3, 1999

  Anji Milanovic


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