Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Excusado

Artist:
Edward Weston (American, Highland Park, Illinois 1886–1958 Carmel, California)
Date:
1925
Medium:
Gelatin silver print
Dimensions:
Image: 24.2 x 19.2 cm (9 1/2 x 7 9/16 in.) Mount: 45.1 x 35.3 cm (17 3/4 x 13 7/8 in.)
Classification:
Photographs
Credit Line:
Gilman Collection, Purchase, The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation Gift, through Joyce and Robert Menschel, 2005
Accession Number:
2005.100.144
Rights and Reproduction:
© 2017 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Not on view
About this image, made in Mexico, Weston wrote in his "Daybooks" on October 21, 1925:

For long I have considered photographing this useful and elegant accessory to modern hygienic life, but not until I actually contemplated its image on my ground glass did I realize the possibilities before me. . . . Here was every sensuous curve of the "human form divine" but minus imperfections.

Typically, Weston's response is to form; ironically, it is the form of the most profane, the most functional of objects: a toilet. With "Excusado," Weston replaces the modernist canon "form follows function" with the notion of pure form--that is, form extracted from its function and related instead to the sensuous curves of the female body.
For two weeks Weston studied and photographed the ordinary plumbing fixture from different angles. For this version he dispensed with the tripod, rested his 8 x 10-inch Seneca view camera on the floor, and directed the lens upward, lending unexpected volume and monumentality to his subject. He wrote that the "swelling, sweeping, forward movement of finely progressing contours" reminded him of the Victory of Samothrace.
Inscription: Signed and inscribed in pencil, on mount, recto(beneath image)BR: "Edward Weston // Mexico 1925"; (beneath image)BL: "EW 5/50"; Inscribed in pencil, on mount,verso TL: "5M // 1926"; TC: "Excusado"
Printed paper sticker, on mount, recto BL: "225"
[Mark Kelman]; Gilman Paper Company Collection, New York, April 19, 1978

Museum of Modern Art, New York. "From the Gilman Collection: Photographs Preserved in Ink," November 15, 1984–February 26, 1985.

Palais de Tokyo, Paris. "Procédés, Procédés," October 7, 1987–November 30, 1987.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Waking Dream: Photography's First Century, Selections from the Gilman Paper Company Collection," May 25, 1993–July 4, 1993.

Edinburgh International Festival, Edinburgh, Scotland. "The Waking Dream: Photography's First Century, Selections from the Gilman Paper Company Collection," August 7, 1993–October 2, 1993.

National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C. "The Waking Dream: Photography's First Century, Selections from the Gilman Paper Company Collection," June 19, 1994–September 11, 1994.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Charles Sheeler's Contemporaries," June 3, 2003–August 17, 2003.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Fatal Attraction: Piotr Uklański Selects from the Met Collection," March 17–June 14, 2015.

Maddow, Ben. Edward Weston: Fifty Years. 1st ed. Millerton, N.Y.: Aperture, 1973. p. 65.

Apraxine, Pierre. Photographs from the Collection of the Gilman Paper Company. Reeds Springs, Mo.: White Oak Press, 1985. pl. 176.

Conger, Amy. Edward Weston: Photographs from the Collection of the Center for Creative Photography. Tucson: Center for Creative Photography, Tucson, 1992. fig. 184/1925.

Hambourg, Maria Morris, Pierre Apraxine, Malcolm Daniel, Virginia Heckert, and Jeff L. Rosenheim. The Waking Dream: Photography's First Century, Selections from the Gilman Paper Company Collection. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1993. p. 354.

Uklański, Piotr. Piotr Uklański: Fatal Attraction. New York: Rizzoli International Publications, 2015. p. 194.



Related Objects

Xenia Kashevaroff

Artist: Edward Weston (American, Highland Park, Illinois 1886–1958 Carmel, California) Date: 1931 Medium: Gelatin silver print Accession: 1972.520.4 On view in:Not on view

Xenia Kashevaroff

Artist: Edward Weston (American, Highland Park, Illinois 1886–1958 Carmel, California) Date: 1931 Medium: Gelatin silver print Accession: 1972.520.6 On view in:Not on view

Xenia Kashevaroff

Artist: Edward Weston (American, Highland Park, Illinois 1886–1958 Carmel, California) Date: 1931 Medium: Gelatin silver print Accession: 1972.520.1 On view in:Not on view

Xenia Kashevaroff

Artist: Edward Weston (American, Highland Park, Illinois 1886–1958 Carmel, California) Date: 1931 Medium: Gelatin silver print Accession: 1972.520.3 On view in:Not on view

Xenia Kashevaroff

Artist: Edward Weston (American, Highland Park, Illinois 1886–1958 Carmel, California) Date: 1931 Medium: Gelatin silver print Accession: 1972.520.2 On view in:Not on view