Cover image for Edward Weston, 1886-1958
Title:
Edward Weston, 1886-1958
Author:
Weston, Edward, 1886-1958.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Köln ; New York : Taschen, [1999]

©1999
Physical Description:
251 pages : illustrations ; 34 cm
Language:
English
ISBN:
9783822871805
Format :
Book

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TR140.W45 A37 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Oversize
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Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Karl Blossfeldt (1865^-1932) began collecting and photographing plants as an art student, then used his finely detailed and elegantly composed photographs as instructional materials during the three decades he taught art in Berlin, eventually publishing his work to great acclaim. Some 350 of his pristine and otherworldly black-and-white close-ups of plants are showcased here, accompanied by Adam's informative commentary. As Adam explains, Blossfeldt never considered himself a photographer in the artistic sense as he documented, "in a severely formal way," the wild plants he so assiduously gathered. But Blossfeldt's deliberately neutral and uniform approach makes for images of great delicacy and intricate beauty as the "minute particularities" of each plant--the whorls, textures, and architectural structures invisible to the casual observer--are revealed as fantastic and vivifying creations. This handsome volume would make a fine companion to Art Forms in Nature: The Prints of Ernst Haeckel [BKL D 1 98], which presents the work of a similarly nature-struck contemporary of Blossfeldt's. --Donna Seaman


Library Journal Review

Blossfeldt, Sander, and Weston all blossomed with the publication of their first books around 1930, were direct in their use of the medium, and rank among photography's defining masters. Yet they each had a unique style and focused on distinct subject matter, making their works instantly recognizable. These three books, part of a new photography series from Taschen, are sufficiently monumental to honor the artists' talents but still convey their singular talents. Germans Sander and Blossfeldt pioneered the "new objectivity" with their massive survey projects. Sander set out to document all of society in hundreds of portraits, typically titled "Country Farmer Dressed for a Funeral" or "Middle-Class Family." The influence of his style, stern yet eminently humane, is more present than ever in current photography. A prominent collector and photography writer, Heiting has made excellent work of a difficult task selecting more than 100 of these portraits for inclusion and augmenting them with lesser-known architectural and landscape photographs. Blossfeldt originally photographed plant specimens to help his students in art school with copying natural forms. But with the publication of Art Forms in Nature (1928), containing 60 of these photogravures, he was hailed as master and went on to publish two more acclaimed compendia. Adam, a photography writer, offers stunning reproductions of all the prints found in all three of Blossfeldt's volumes as well as the original essays from the time. The Weston volume will give readers a new appreciation of his almost abstract nature studies and nudes. Heiting has again chosen exemplary works from Weston's more diverse oeuvre, combining well-known signature pieces with unexpected images. Terrence Pitts, director of the Center for Creative Photography, has added an especially well-researched essay to accompany the selections. These books are all well done, but based on the popularity of their work in the United States, Weston belongs in all public libraries, Sander in medium and large public libraries, and Blossfeldt in all libraries with a serious interest in photography; the entire series would be at home in any academic institution.ÄDoug McClemont, New York (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Choice Review

This well-designed picture book, with 170 good reproductions of mostly well known works (nudes, portraits, landscapes, still lifes), is an excellent introduction to Weston. Though Pitts's 14-page essay is a fine overview of Weston's career, it does not present new facts or analyze individual works. What is usually missing in picture books is a critical appraisal of the pictures (a skeletal bibliography and a very brief chronology offer little help). Without picture analysis, Weston's reputation cannot be convincingly explained. Pitts does refer to the well-known importance, for example, of women, of 1920s Mexico, and of independence, etc. Not surprisingly, the text reflects Weston's own record (his edited-for-posterity Daybooks, 1961). What makes Weston's work different from that of his contemporaries? His ancestors? His followers? Is it true that "Weston's stunning achievement as a landscape photographer was to have made remarkable images of every [every?] type of landscape in America"? In fact, doesn't his success rest on a particular type of landscape, one that is abstract, close, unusual in content and construction? Indeed, Weston's California and the West (1940) contains many unremarkable landscapes. Whatever the subject, the individual photographs need serious critical and comparative discourse. General readers; undergraduates. C. Chiarenza; University of Rochester