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Edward Weston: The Last Years in Carmel Hardcover – 1 Jan 2001


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Synopsis

Seventy-six full-page plates represent work Weston produced between 1938 and 1948, when he lived in Carmel, California. The works were gathered together for a 2001 exhibition at The Art Institute of Chicago (scheduled for the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art during 2002). This late body of work is quite different from Weston's earlier work and ha

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Amazon.com: 4.6 out of 5 stars 5 reviews
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Rich and dark food for thought 8 Mar. 2002
By D. Johnson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This is a catalog for a show currently at San Francisco MOMA, launched in Chicago last year. (Weston came from Illinois and did most of his work in California.) It is essentially a re-edition of Weston's My Camera On Point Lobos, published in 1951 and again in 1968. The major change is text by David Travis replacing excerpts from Weston's daybooks in the original.
The text is intended to humanize someone who is mostly mythical by describing and interpreting events in the last years of his life at Point Lobos. It presents the author's analysis of Weston's career, state of mind and the evolution of his late style. There is little or no new material here and the analysis is strained, but thoughtful.
There are some intelligent comparisons presented of Weston's late and early views of the same subject. As a collection this is not a good introduction to Weston. It is a good final chapter to the Daybooks and a beautiful collection of reproductions. It is also a good companion to Ansel Adams at 100, showing how these two friends viewed many of the same subjects so differently. It would be a good addition to reading Charis Wilson's Through Another Lens, showing many pictures of domestic life including Weston's children, cats, and many of Charis Wilson. There is a lot of "inside baseball" here, both explicit and implied.
There is at least one important image in the show that is not in the catalog and there are many important omissions from the show itself, which make this a poor place to start studying Weston's work. For the record, both Weston and Adams experimented with color in the late 40s, shooting the same images in color and black and white. The color images aren't good but they are a very good way to show why their respective monochrome images are so strong.
It is worth repeating that while the printed images are as good as any you'll see, they are not even close to the 8X10 contact prints in the show. This really matters in Weston's work. If you have a chance to see the San Francisco show, before it is put away for another 10 years, you will also see additional earlier prints from SFMOMA's outstanding permanent collection which put the theme of the show into context that is missing from the book.
This is Weston when he was only satisfying his own search for meaning, not making statements or presenting his vision to the world. These are his final meditations and he knew it. They are by far his richest and most abstract work and worthy of a lot of study.
15 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A squirrelly, but talented photographer 19 July 2001
By Simon Nutrient - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Edward Weston was one of the most squirelly, yet most talented photographers in the history of the medium - he rarely smiled, wore women's clothes, never learned to drive, married a woman 30 years his junior, lived in a shack in Carmel and loved philandering with Tina Modotti and others. He died with $300 in the bank in 1958, yet his photograph of a Circus Tent went at auction a few years ago for $266,000. His influence on photography and photographers was immense. Two of his four sons, Brett and Cole, became accomplished image makers and his grandson now carries on that same tradition, even living in the same shack on Wildcat Hill in Carmel. This book covers roughly the last 10 years of his photographs 1938-1948. The images are superbly produced and well-chosen but the text was a bit overbearing and heavy on the theory that in the last years Weston was overly concerned with death which was represented in his images. Certainly his images of Point Lobos are a bit dark and morose with pictures of dead trees and pelicans, but that's Point Lobos! During this period he also made whimsical images of his wife wearing a gas mask in the nude and playing a flute while a cat looks on with a surprised glance. Weston was full of LIFE, not death. Thirty years before his death in 1958 he made an image of a corpse at a time when his relationship with his future wife was rosy and he was spending time with his beloved sons. His final work does not seem any more concerned with death than it was in his earlier years. But, forget the text! Photography books are similar to Playboy magazines anyway - we buy them to look at the pictures, not read the text!! This is a terrific book and I can't wait to view the actual images at The Art Institute of Chicago.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the mature artist 25 Jun. 2001
By Mojo Parker - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Not just a great presentation of Weston's last productive years, the essay by the Chicago Art Institute's Curator of Photography provides the best understanding to date of what it means to be a mature artist - and why it was that Weston was viewed by his peers, including Ansel Adams, Minor White, Imogen Cunningham as the consummate photographer, the proof that photography like other forms was capable of synthesizing interior and exterior realities into works of profound emotional and aesthetic power. A great contribution!
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book 18 Sept. 2013
By Javier F. alonso - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Great photographs of a great artist. The images are gorgeous and the reproduction quality is great. I greatly recommend it.
1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Edward Weston: The Last Years in Carmel 25 Dec. 2001
By Richard Lang - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
A finely printed book that features more than the regular images that every other book has. The essay is a very worthwhile read. It offers wonderful insites to the photogrpaher at the end of his working career.A real must to any Weston colection of books.
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