Art/ Collection/ Collection/ Art Object

Nautilus

Artist:
Edward Weston (American, Highland Park, Illinois 1886–1958 Carmel, California)
Date:
1927
Medium:
Gelatin silver print
Dimensions:
Image: 24.8 x 18.8 cm (9 3/4 x 7 3/8 in.) Mount: 34.7 × 30.1 cm (13 11/16 × 11 7/8 in.)
Classification:
Photographs
Credit Line:
Gilman Collection, Purchase, Jennifer and Joseph Duke Gift, 2005
Accession Number:
2005.100.711
Rights and Reproduction:
© 2016 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Not on view
Like their painter counterparts, many photographers experimented with abstraction in the 1920s and 1930s, exploring relations of form, tonality, and space. Here, Weston isolates a nautilus shell against a solid black ground, creating a study of curves, subtle shadows, and contrasts between light and dark. As in many of his close-ups of natural forms, the nautilus appears both recognizable and yet strangely unfamiliar. Unlike the rigorously nonrepresentational compositions of photographers like László Moholy-Nagy, Weston’s abstractions always remained grounded in objects from the real world; as he wrote in 1930, "To see the Thing Itself is essential."
Inscription: [No annotations or inscriptions]
[Helios Arts Inc., New York]; Gilman Paper Company Collection, New York, February 17, 1978

Maddow, Ben. Edward Weston: Fifty Years. 1st ed. Millerton, N.Y.: Aperture, 1973. fig. 291.

Conger, Amy. Edward Weston: Photographs from the Collection of the Center for Creative Photography. Tucson: Center for Creative Photography, Tucson, 1992. fig. 544/1927.

Mora, Gilles, ed. Edward Weston: Forms of Passion. New York: H. N. Abrams, 1995. 151.



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