13 September 2022: Edward Weston & Food: Sustenance, Inspiration and Campfire Cuisine

Part 1 of 2

Cabbage Leaf, 1931, Gelatin silver print. (CCP, Edward Weston Archive, 82.12.7)

“I just want to make it the most cabbagy cabbage a man ever looked at and then chopped up into coleslaw.”[1] 

—Edward Weston, as quoted in The New Yorker, May-June 1946

Note: Unless stated otherwise, all photographs are by Edward Weston and both photographs and archival materials illustrated in this post are currently owned, or were owned in the past, by Paul M. Hertzmann, Inc. All photographs by Edward Weston © Center for Creative Photography [CCP], University of Arizona.

Food plays a significant role in all our lives, but for Edward Weston it was also a wellspring of creative nourishment. From the mid-1920s to the mid-1930s he found inspiration in fruits and vegetables, raising them from the ordinary to the extraordinary in a series of still lifes that rank among his most progressive and iconic works. The revelatory nature of these spare yet powerful images introduced a new mode of seeing that shocked and enthralled his contemporaries, exerting an attraction that remains undiminished to this day.

Weston sought to reduce his photographic subjects to their essence, a quest similarly reflected in his affinity for a streamlined lifestyle and restrained gastronomic preferences. Perhaps it was this predilection for simplicity in all things that, as Merle Armitage wrote, freed him to reveal the world in “its true content, its natural decorativeness or design, its most significant form.”[2]

Continue reading “13 September 2022: Edward Weston & Food: Sustenance, Inspiration and Campfire Cuisine”