February 9 – April 10, 2017
MMA Pacific Street
The Monterey Museum of Art is honored to present the earliest works of American photographer Edward Weston (1886 – 1958) alongside masterpieces from our permanent collection of Weston’s photographs.
Over the course of his fifty-year career Edward Weston blazed a path into Photo-Modernism rendering portraits, landscapes, still-lifes, and nudes. In 1902 a sixteen-year-old Weston took up photography in Highland Park, Illinois, where he worked as an amateur for five years. In 1907, at the age of twenty-one, Weston moved to Tropico, California, now the city of Glendale in Los Angeles County, where he constructed his first studio and set about with great purpose to become a photographic artist. Examining Weston’s earliest sharp- and soft-focus photographs reveals that the young artist had already formed a perfect sense of composition that was to be the hallmark of his later work.
Presenting Weston’s earliest work from a recently discovered family album, Edward Weston: Portrait of the Young Man as an Artist compares the artist’s naive first artistic efforts with his later masterworks to show the persistence and evolution of his singular vision to find essential form in the vernacular with an ever-increasing intensity.
As a young man deeply intuitive and original in his creative expression, Edward Weston demonstrates that his teenage work, beginning with his amateur snapshots, embrace the same significant form as the later work for which he is now considered a master.
Image: Shell, 1931. Photograph by Edward Weston. © 1981 Center for Creative Photography, Arizona Board of Regents