Brett Weston

(1911 – 1993)

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Brett Weston has characteristically seen the world graphically, in terms of pattern. When Edward and Brett photographed the same sand dune, the father made photographs that showed the sensuous, plastic sculpture of natural forms, the son’s sand dunes emerged as constructions of flat planes, straight lines, and sharp angles.

-John Szarkowski

Brett Weston Biography

Brett Weston was the second son of Edward Weston, but established a reputation of his own in photography. The younger Weston apprenticed with his father in Mexico in 1925.

Weston’s early work is softer in tone, concerned with constructing dramatic compositions from everyday forms such as factories, cars, sand dunes, plants and rooftops. In the 1940s and thereafter, Weston’s images became more abstract, textured and hard-edged, more involved with visual problems and space than emotion.

For most of his career, Weston worked from California, first in Santa Barbara and later, with his father in Carmel. However, in the 1940s the Army stationed him in New York City, where Weston photographed with a 11×14-inch view-camera. The resulting portfolio “New York” was issued in 1951.

In the late 40s, Weston received a Guggenheim Fellowship to photograph along the East Coast and then returned to California to help his father, who was suffering from Parkinson’s disease. He printed Edward Weston’s “50th Anniversary Portfolio” in 1951 and 52 and made other prints from many of his father’s negatives.

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