Steven Kasher Gallery is proud to present Brett Weston. This is the first exhibition of the artist to be mounted in New York in over 14 years, and one of only two Brett Weston retrospectives to be mounted anywhere in 35 years. This exhibition seeks to reestablish Weston’s status as one of the greatest American photographic artists of the 20th century. The exhibition will include over 80 black and white prints, all printed by Weston, and almost all vintage. It will encompass seven decades, from the 1920s through the 80s, and will demonstrate how Weston embraced a set of formal themes early on, and then mastered and deepened them over the years.
In 1925, at age thirteen, Brett Weston escaped school forever and joined his father, Edward Weston, in Mexico. Under his father’s tutelage he learned how to make photographs, and was soon recognized as a prodigy. He mastered a formalism that was in some ways more radical – more minimal, less psychological -- than his father’s. In 1929 Brett became one of the world’s heralded photographers when several of his prints were included in the seminal exhibition Film und Foto mounted by the Deutsche Werkbund in Stuttgart alongside prints by Steichen, Abbott, Cunningham, Strand, Sheeler, Man Ray and Edward Weston.
What followed was over five decades of prolific production, exhibition and publication, a life singularly devoted to an everyday practice of lyrical and sensuous large-format photography. His work tirelessly pursues fundamental themes: the intercourse of light and shade on sand, trees, rocks, water, and walls. He found inspiration in the deserts and coasts of California and Mexico, in the streets of New York and San Francisco, in the mountains of Alaska and the Sierras, in the vegetation of Hawaii, and across the towns and villages of Europe. Over all his periods and all his subjects the quality of his black and white printing is considered unsurpassed.
Weston’s other obsession was women, many of whom he loved, and who loved him back. In the 1930s he had an affair with Mildred Cram, who memorialized Weston in her screenplay for Love Affair, which starred Charles Boyer as a lothario based on Weston. The 1957 remake An Affair to Remember starred Cary Grant, whose style of seduction is said to be close to that of Brett. In a period of desperate poverty Brett appeared as a swashbuckler in Errol Flynn’s Captain Blood, stealing a scene of drinking and wenching.
Brett Weston’s prints are housed in over 100 major collections worldwide. Over a dozen monographs on his work have been published.