Brett Weston (1911-1993)
Brett Weston was an American photographer best known for his lyrical black-and-white treatment of the natural world. With an oeuvre that helped define the contemporary photography movement, Weston was as interested in the abstract qualities created through negative space as he was in organic objects themselves. Instead of using the matte papers that were popular in the 1920s, he notably developed a preference for high-gloss papers due to the sharp precision they gave to his abstract compositions. Born on December 16, 1911 in Los Angeles, CA, he was the second son of the pioneering photographer Edward Weston, who taught him the medium from an early age. The younger Weston was featured at an international exhibit in Stuttgart, Germany at just 17 years old. At 21, he had his first one-man museum show at the De Young Museum in San Francisco. He continued working with his father until the elder Weston’s death in 1958, and began traveling more extensively thereafter. The resulting work has been compiled in a collection of influential photo books, including Voyage of the Eye, Hawaii: Fifty Photographs, and Brett Weston: Photographs from Five Decades. Today, the artist’s works are in the collections of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, among others. He died on January 22, 1993 in Kailua Kona, HI.