Celebrated photographer Weston, goes East.

By Steve Gold

A major Arts exhibition devoted to the legendary US photographer, the late Edward Weston, is sure to draw huge crowds at Edinburgh’s newly reopened City Art Centre this summer.

Edward Weston: Life Work is organised by art2art Circulating Exhibitions and will run throughout Edinburgh’s main summer festivals period from July until late October 2010. The touring event is coming from the USA to Edinburgh for its only UK showing before returning to New York. The event will be the biggest exhibition of the photographer’s works ever to be seen in Britain. It will be held in the Council run, City Art Centre on Market Street, which is due to be refurbished at a cost of £700k.

Councillor Deidre Brock, Culture Leader, said: “Edward Weston is recognised as being one of the greats of 20th century photography so we are really delighted to be exhibiting his work at the City Art Centre next summer. The City Art Centre has played host to some truly sensational photography shows, including the stunningly successful Ansel Adams ‘Celebration of Genius’ show in 2008 and the fantastic Albert Watson photography exhibition ‘Frozen’ in 2006 – I’m sure the Edward Weston exhibition will draw equally impressive crowds.”

Photo courtesy of http://www.edward-weston.com

For those who are not aware of one of the masters of 20th century photography, Weston’s work and life;

Edward Henry Weston was born in Highland Park, Illinois, and raised in Chicago. He received his first camera from his father in 1902 and began working as a photographer in his spare time. He then travelled to California where he worked as a door-to-door portrait photographer. After studying at Illinois College of Photography from 1908 to 1911, he opened his own portrait studio in Tropico, California. Weston became dissatisfied with his work and by 1920 he was experimenting with semi-abstractions.

His photographs of the ARMCO Steelworks in Ohio marked a turning point in his career. They were unpretentious and true to reality. He then moved to Mexico City and then San Francisco. His photography continued to develop with the use of soft-focus techniques and started his precise studies of natural forms. He began to work on his most famous work:  natural-form close-ups, nudes, and landscapes.

Weston started a family, with wife Tina Modotti, who had two sons Brett and Cole. Weston developed Parkinson’s disease and died in 1958, aged 72.

The ‘survey exhibition’ at the City Art Centre will showcase 115 vintage prints from all phases of Weston’s five-decade career. Previously unpublished masterpieces are interspersed with well-known signature images. The exhibition is arranged in seven thematic sections: early work, Mexico, portraits, nudes, still life, early landscape and late landscape. A 30-minute video, Remembering Edward Weston, featuring interviews with family members will also accompany the show.

This exhibition will be yet another jewel in the crown of Edinburgh International Festival and increase Edinburgh’s cultural pull.