Edward Weston

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I went this exhibit today and naturally it was a visual 'feast'.

My favorites were 'Portrait of a woman from the back', 'View of the Chicago River', and 'Summer Sunshine'. These three particular prints at least for me showed how the best of Westons work transcends technique and in fact goes beyond perfect.

Perfect isn't the word for many of these images, more like any great Artist, Weston for microseconds at a time, pulls you into the image, into that world, into that perfect moment. You forget you, and that you're at an exhibit looking at a two dimensional piece of paper, and that for a brief moment, Westons image is your image.

His work with nudes is unpretentious. He has a clear and unfettered vision. The exhibit is exhilirating.

Sadly the lighting in the exhibit hall is terrible. It is so dark you cannot see, and some of the paintings are inexplicably between lights, I asked security about this and he said 'they' wanted it that way, whoever 'they' are. You can see the compositions, but not the tonality. Still a 'mustsee', if you can make it to the Los Angeles Library for the exhibit.

-- Jonathan Brewer (lifestories@earthlink.net), December 20, 2001


Misspoke and typed paintings in the last paragraph instead of saying 'prints'.

-- Jonathan Brewer (lifestories@earthlink.net), December 20, 2001.

Read Weston's "Daybooks" (2 volumes)...they give tremendous insight into the man behind the prints.

Visit Point Lobos (northern California) and Weston Beach at Point Lobos, after you read the Daybooks.

There is much more to photography than just a print...it's the person, as well.

-- Todd Frederick (fredrick@hotcity.com), December 21, 2001.

I viewed an exhibit at the Art Institute of Chicago featuring Westons "Last Years at Carmel" and true to form they put it in the basement(where arts bastard child, photography seems to always rate) and the lighting was repulsive. They could have gotten aluminum reflector lights from True Value and have done better. The book put out by them is excellent though and I would highly recommend.

-- Michael Pry (vila@techheadnet.com), December 21, 2001.

beautiful comments, Jonathan. you've identified something that to me is a fundamental aspect of great art: it's transparent. The artist's intentions are clear, simple, honest, sincere, without any attached ego or baggage or self-aggrandizement or smoke-and-mirrors. Looking at Weston's work you can just sense his love and reverence, and his humility, in the presence of the magic he saw around him.

~chris jordan (Seattle)


-- chris jordan (cjordan@yarmuth.com), December 21, 2001.

Hi Chris......Well I sure didn't want to use 'old canards' like mesmerized, spellbound, but I was nonetheless 'suck in' to the world of these particular images. These three images caught me, and yanked me in.

-- Jonathan Brewer (lifestories@earthlink.net), December 21, 2001.

Saw exhibit today. I believe it's open 'til mid March. The photos are very old and borrowed from a private collection, so it seemed obvious to me that the weak lighting was a condition set for library's use of them. Their long-term preservation was kept in mind. They are nice.

-- Andre Noble (andrenoble@yahoo.com), December 26, 2001.

Went down to the Howard Greenberg gallery at 120 Wooster St. in New York to see the E. Weston exhibit on the other coast today. Alas, they were closed, but I'll go back. It's up until Jan. 26, 2001.

-- David Goldfarb (dgoldfarb@barnard.edu), December 26, 2001.

Went back to Greenberg today. Nice show. About 60 images. It's always good to see contact prints in person at their original intended size.

I think my favorite print that I hadn't seen before was a portrait of Erica shot on 8x10", 1947 if I remember correctly. She is set in a landscape in the lower left corner, probably not even occupying 5 percent of the image area. At first the image looks like a landscape, but once you see the human figure rendered in exquisite detail you can't pull your eyes away. Breaks all the rules brilliantly.

-- David Goldfarb (dgoldfarb@barnard.edu), December 29, 2001.

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