Edward Weston: The Last Years in Carmel

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9780865591929: Edward Weston: The Last Years in Carmel
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Between 1938 and 1948, Edward Weston took the last photographs of his distinguished career. In 1938 he returned to scenic Carmel, California, after a twenty-five-thousand-mile, two-year journey through the American West on Guggenheim fellowships. He and his young wife, Charis, built a pine-wood home and studio overlooking the Pacific and only one mile from Point Lobos, the unspoiled headland that, over the years, had become the artist's favorite site for testing ideas and finding new approaches to advance his art. But in the decade following his return to Carmel, Weston photographed Point Lobos and the Big Sur with different eyes. Where he had previously focused on details and still lifes, he now found himself drawn to horizons, vistas, and moody atmospheres.
Photographs of this late period reveal a greater psychological component than do the more formalist images that preceded them. Weston's work became both a release and receptacle, as he battled with Parkinson's disease, experienced a failing marriage, and saw his sons leave for military service during World War II. No longer the brash adventurer nor satisfied with technical virtuosity and innovative composition, Weston, in a more somber state of mind, drew out the elemental power of his coastal environment. These landscapes - many previously unpublished - show us a new aspect of Weston's artistry and will surprise even those most familiar with his work. Touching portraits of Weston's family and domestic scenes in and around his home - all from this late period - have also been included here by curator and author David Travis, to give readers an in-depth view of the man behind the camera in the final years of his career.
This late body of work has never before been extensively researched or exhibited, in part because it is so markedly different from the earlier images that made Weston famous. The majority of the seventy-six photographs featured in this book is drawn from private and public collections, but most especially those of The Art Institute of Chicago and the University of California at Santa Cruz.

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About the Author:

Edward Weston was born in 1886 in Highland Park, Illinois, and had his first photographs exhibited at the Chicago Art Institute at the age of seventeen. In 1906 he began living and working in San Francisco, and he would spend most of his time in California thereafter, becoming a founding member of the California Pictorialists of Los Angeles in 1908. Towards the 1920s Weston began to work with the Mexican-based photographer Tina Modotti, and renounced Pictorialism. In 1932 he became a charter member of the "Group f/64" that included Ansel Adams, Imogen Cunningham, Consuelo Kanaga and others. Weston continued working even after being diagnosed with Parkinson's disease in 1946. Edward Weston died at home in 1958.

"I have written of photography as 'direct, honest, uncompromising,' - and so it is when used in its purity, if the worker himself is equally sincere and understanding in selection and presentation. Then it has a power and vitality which moves and holds the spectator. There can be no lie in such photography. No human hand of possible frailty has in the recording lessened its pristine beauty, nor misrepresented its meaning, destroying significance." -Edward Weston

From Library Journal:

During the last period of Edward Weston's work, roughly 1938 through 1948, he began to feel the effects of aging and of Parkinson's disease. He had returned to Carmel and Point Lobos, a place that had been the source of many of his most famous images. His (second) marriage to the much younger Charis Wilson was failing, his sons were serving in a war that closed Point Lobos for a time to Weston's photographic forays, and he was battling symptoms of depression, undiagnosed at the time. All contributed to a significant change in his photographic vision. His last landscape images were psychologically darker and less formalistic than those produced earlier in Carmel, and his nudes featuring Wilson were also more somber. After 1948, Weston stopped taking photographs but continued hosting friends and students until his death on New Year's Day, 1958. This is the first book to examine Weston's last body of work, so different from the images that made him famous. Travis, curator of photography at the Art Institute of Chicago, demonstrates his considerable skill with this series of chronologically organized essays and 108 reproductions, published to accompany a traveling exhibit. The illustrations are excellent, as are the essays. Recommended for fine art and photography collections. Kathleen Collins, Bank of America Corporate Archives, San Francisco
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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