Sunday, March 13, 2011

The Ten Best Photography Books on My Shelf - #6

#6 Brett Weston: Out of the Shadow

Brett Weston was one of four sons born to photography legend Edward Weston. An extremely popular photographer during his lifetime and 60 year career (beginning to photograph in earnest at the tender age of 12), Brett Weston has lost some of his popular steam since his death in 1993. Not attending any formal schooling after the age of thirteen, Brett learned his craft under the wing of Edward while in Mexico in the 1920's. Even though Brett had his first major international exhibition at the age of 17, and a one man museum retrospective at the age of 21, he was always concerned that his work would not be taken seriously or he would be accused of  imitating his famous fathers work.

This catalog accompanied the Brett Weston traveling exhibit, "Out of the Shadow", that made four stops around the country, ending in January of 2010 at the Currier Museum of Art in Manchester, New Hampshire. With over 130 images, this was the largest showing of Brett Weston's work since 1975 and "Voyage of the Eye".

The exhibit itself was something special to behold. Beautifully seen and composed black and white images, subtly nuanced, and printed with a masters hand. From the abstract ice, broken glass, and cracked mud images, to the natural forms of plants, sand dunes, and underwater nudes dapples with light, each image piled upon the previous to build a massive body of work. The sheer volume and quality of the work took multiple viewings to truly absorb.

The reproductions in the book are outstanding and richly printed, and there is much interesting information regarding Brett and his photography included in the pages. This volume would be a welcome addition to any photographers bookshelf.

"I note Brett's interest in photography. He is doing better work at 14 than I did at 30. To have someone close to me, working so excellently, with an assured future, is a happiness hardly expected." - Edward Weston

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