This summer, Kim and I had the opportunity to attend the opening of a gorgeous exhibition, Weston 4 Generations: Classics of Modern American Photography at Kunsträume Grenzenlos in Bayerisch Eisenstein. It includes four generations of Weston photographers Edward, Brett, Cole, Kim, and Zach Weston. The opening coincided with the beginning of our Germany Destination workshop. The exhibition featured 127 photographs which came from the private collections of the Westons and Friedrich Saller.
Born on March 24, 1886, in Highland Park, Illinois, Edward Weston's father gave him his camera at age 16. Much of his photography in the early 1920s can be identified as Pictorialist style, meaning they imitated paintings. In 1923, he traveled to Mexico, where he opened a photographic studio with his lover, Tina Modotti. During this time, Weston took a number of the portraits and nudes for which he's known today. Several Mexican artists of the time, including Diego Rivera, David Siqueiros and Jose Orozco, called Weston a pioneer of 20th century art. In 1926, Weston returned to the United States, settling in California, where he continued to create—nudes, close-ups, natural forms and landscapes, among several other works. In the 1940s, he took several portraits of his family members that are now considered among his best work. In 1946, New York City's Museum of Modern Art featured retrospective exhibit of Weston's work that included 300 prints. Weston died in Carmel, California, on January 1, 1958.
Brett Weston (b. 1911 – d.1993) was the second of the four sons of photographer Edward Weston and Flora Chandler. He began taking photographs in 1925, while living in Mexico with Tina Modotti and his father. He began showing his photographs with Edward Weston in 1927, was featured at the international exhibition at Film und Foto in Germany at age 17, and mounted his first one-man museum retrospective at age 21 at the De Young Museum in San Francisco in January 1932.
Weston's earliest images from the 1920s reflect an intuitive and sophisticated sense of abstraction. He began photographing the dunes at Oceano, California, in the early 1930s. Brett preferred the high gloss papers and ensuing sharp clarity of the gelatin silver photographic materials of the f64 Group rather than the platinum matte photographic papers common in the 1920s and encouraged Edward Weston to explore the new silver papers in his own work.
Brett Weston’s lifetime devotion and total involvement with the medium created a body of work and a contribution to photography that transcends comparisons to his father and has few equals in contemporary photography.
Cole Weston (January 30, 1919 – April 20, 2003) was Edward Weston's fourth and youngest son. Although Weston "was born into the tradition of craftsman- produced black-and-white art photography, he was to find his own photographic direction in colour".
Cole Weston's life followed a diverse course that started with theater, later leading him to the Navy, a position photographing for Life, and later photographing portraits, before he moved to Carmel, California in 1946, at his father’s request. In the years that followed, Cole became his father’s assistant and trusted companion; and, as Edward's struggle with Parkinson’s disease worsened, Cole became the keeper of two careers, his father’s and his own. Before his death in 2003, Cole Weston was devoted to keeping both bodies of work flourishing and circulating widely.
In a career spanning four decades, Kim has come to be recognized in his own right as one of the most insightful and accomplished practitioners of figurative/nude photography, producing an extensive and masterful portfolio of work that draws deeply, yet expands upon the traditions and canon of the nude in classical and modern European art.
Zach Weston is a fourth generation fine-art film photographer from one of the most influential and creative families in American photographic history. His great grandfather was Edward Weston, great uncle Brett Weston, grandfather Cole Weston, and his father is Kim Weston.
Zach's photography focuses on fine-art nudes, landscapes, and abstracts.
Friedrich Saller is a dedicated photographer who specializes in medium and large format photography and is especially interested in traditional analog techniques.
Since 1996, Friedrich has participated in group exhibitions in Germany, Poland, Austria, Spain, and Ibiza. He has had successful single shows of his photos in Munich, Berlin, Regen, and Hallein.
Friedrich has participated in Weston Workshops at Wildcat Hill and around the world since 2001 where he discovered his passion for fine-art nude photography.
Photos from the Opening
The Four Generations of Weston Photography exhibition will be on display until Sunday, October 22, 2017 at Kunsträume grenzenlos.