Edward Weston, American, 1886 - 1958
- about 1984
Newby Toms, sold to Daniel Wolf, about 1984.
about 1984 - 1984
Daniel Wolf, Inc. (New York, New York), sold to the J. Paul Getty Museum, 1984.
Not currently on view
Edward Weston (American, 1886 - 1958)
Mexico (Place Created)
14.9 × 24 cm (5 7/8 × 9 7/16 in.)
© 1981 Arizona Board of Regents, Center for Creative Photography
Brett Abbott. Edward Weston, In Focus: Photographs from the J. Paul Getty Museum (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2005), 48. ©2005, J. Paul Getty Trust.
The first image with artistic intention that Edward Weston made in Mexico was of a cloud. Stopped in the port of Mazatlan on his way to Mexico City in 1923, Weston, for the first time in his career, was moved to photograph the sky, a theme that would occupy him intermittently throughout his entire sojourn in Mexico. Working with his Graflex, which allowed for greater flexibility than his tripod-mounted eight-by-ten-inch camera, he shot clouds spontaneously and maintained a personal collection of prints that he referred to as his “cloud series.” He noted in his daybook, “Next to the recording of a fugitive expression, or revealing the pathology of some human being, is there anything more elusive to capture than cloud forms! And the Mexican clouds are so swift and ephemeral, one can hardly allow the thought, 'Is this worth doing?' or, 'ls this placed well?’—for an instant of delay and what was, is not!
The economy of form achieved in this 1926 image through the isolation of a single strip of stratus clouds oriented diagonally within the frame was not new to Weston's aesthetic; his 1924 picture of Tina Modotti (1896-1942) nude on the roof of their home (see 86.XM.710.8) employs a remarkably similar composition. If Mexico provided Weston the inspiration to explore and expand the range of his oeuvre, adding clouds, still lifes, and landscapes to his repertoire of portraits and nudes, it simultaneously served as the place where his visual approach to the world was honed. His time in Mexico came to an end the same year he made this picture, but many of the principles he developed there would last him throughout his career.
Conger, Amy. "Edward Weston's Early Photography, 1903-1926." Ph.D. diss. (University of New Mexico, 1982), 26/270.
Abbott, Brett. Edward Weston. In Focus: Photographs from the J. Paul Getty Museum (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2005), pp. 48-49, pl. 21.