Form and Light: Brett Weston Photographs

Allen Memorial Art Museum Ripin Gallery      

January 24- May 21, 2017

Born in Los Angeles in 1911, Brett Weston began to study photography as a teenager and went on to become a successful photographer of landscapes and still life. His career was launched in 1925 when he and his father, renowned American photographer Edward Weston,traveled to Mexico, where he met painters Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera, along with photographer Tina Modotti. From his father and his circle, Weston learned not only the craft of photography, but also a formalist approach to his artistic subjects. Extracting objects from their context to focus on minute details of line and shape, as well as contrasts of light and dark, Weston’s photographs are visual studies of form and light. 

The exhibition is curated by Denise Birkhofer, former Ellen Johnson ’33 Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, with assistance from Madeleine Aquilina (OC ’16). The museum acknowledges the generosity of Christian Keesee Collection and the Brett Weston Archive, which provided for the acquisition of the majority of the photographs.


Featured Photo

Untitled (Leaves, Ferns, Hawaii), c. 1980

Ferns were the perfect subject of satisfy Brett’s search for pattern.  He looked for it in everything from dunes to rocks to buildings.  The placement of the leaves divide the composition naturally into thirds with the highlight on the middle frond.  It is a beautiful photograph made near the end of Brett’s career, emphasizing the fact that his eye never waivered.