Drift Stump, North Coast
Edward Weston gained international recognition early in his career with work from the portrait studio that he operated in California from 1911 to 1922. After meeting Alfred Stieglitz and other prominent modernists in New York in the early 1920s, he became disenchanted with the soft-focused Pictorialist style he had mastered so successfully. He returned to California to experiment with hard-edged, sharp-focused studies of nudes, organic forms, and landscapes, while his work became at the same time more abstract, often juxtaposing curvaceous forms with more geometric patterns. Weston was the first photographer ever to receive a Guggenheim Fellowship, in 1937 (and again in 1938), at a time when he worked entirely outdoors with the limitless possibilities of the Western landscape.
In this image from 1939, made immediately following his fellowship work, the weight and ambiguous scale of the driftwood convey a sense of monumentality. The complexity of forms and surfaces is the focus of the image, and the delicate layer of fog heightens the wood’s texture, rendering it almost palpable. The strong relationship between the drift stump and the scattered pieces of wood around it unifies the composition.
Gelatin silver photograph
Image: 7 1/2 x 9 3/4 in. (19.1 x 24.8 cm)
Mount: 13 7/8 x 15 1/2 in. (35.2 x 39.4 cm) (show scale)
Initialed and dated in graphite on mount, lower right recto, under photograph. Titled, signed and dated in graphite, center verso.
Frank L. Babbott Fund and Frederick Loeser Fund
This item is not on view
Edward Weston (American, 1886-1958). Drift Stump, North Coast, 1939. Gelatin silver photograph, Image: 7 1/2 x 9 3/4 in. (19.1 x 24.8 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Frank L. Babbott Fund and Frederick Loeser Fund, 46.75.4. © artist or artist's estate (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 46.75.4_PS2.jpg)
overall, 46.75.4_PS2.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2008
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