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  1. #21
    Sparky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Curt View Post
    I agree with Gene, that's why I started this thread, in one of my older magazines, which I can't seem to find right now, Brett Weston was described as an Abstract Expressionist. I have only seen that reference once and was interested in seeing if any other photographers had gained that description.
    I can see where the 'abstract' part of it fits in with him... not so much the 'expressionism' part though. I'm thinking DAD was the big influence in HIS life though...

  2. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by papagene View Post
    I don't know how much or if at all Brett Weston was influenced by the Abstract Expressionists, but I find in his work many compositional similarities to both Motherwell and Kline. This is one of the main reasons I have always liked his work. I am drawn to Brett's work more than that of his father's, who I also like very much.
    Motherwell and Kline were a couple of my artistic heroes when I was young art student many years ago.

    gene
    Gene,
    Brett Weston was not influenced by the abstract expressionists. Brett's photographic career pre-dates the Abstract Expressionist by two decades. Brett started shooting with an abstract eye in Mexico in 1926. The Abstract Expressionists made their splash on the art scene in 1946 and blossumed into the 1950's.

  3. #23

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    photohistorian:

    do you have any idea how abstractionists like arshiel gorky and kandinsky and picasso et al.
    factor into this whole equation? while i know the abstract expressionists
    were in the 40s and 50s ... they seem (to me at least) to be an offshoot
    of these cubists, constructionists and abstractionists from around the time you mention
    brett weston's abstract work was beginning ...

    thanks!

    john

  4. #24
    Sparky's Avatar
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    I know you're not inviting me to respond, John - but it really seems to me that their work is QUITE volumetric - and very representational. They appear to be kind of quasi cubist - if not directly so. Whereas abstract expressionism appeared to be a final leap acknowledging the idea of 'surface'. PURE painting (gestures on canvas) -without any obvious representation going on.

  5. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparky View Post
    I know you're not inviting me to respond, John - but it really seems to me that their work is QUITE volumetric - and very representational. They appear to be kind of quasi cubist - if not directly so. Whereas abstract expressionism appeared to be a final leap acknowledging the idea of 'surface'. PURE painting (gestures on canvas) -without any obvious representation going on.
    naaah, i don't mind sparky,

    it's all good

    yeah, quasi-cubist, volumetric ...
    kind of like the beginning, and
    the full expression was the 40s and 50s ...
    (pardon the pun ... )

    i always find it interesting to see if/how these folks
    knew of, worked with, saw, and allowed eachother to influence their own artwork.
    some seemed to be ahead of their time or working at the same time,
    doing similar, if not the same sort of things, while others, took the seed that others planted, and went wild with it.

  6. #26
    papagene's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhotoHistorian View Post
    Gene,
    Brett Weston was not influenced by the abstract expressionists. Brett's photographic career pre-dates the Abstract Expressionist by two decades. Brett started shooting with an abstract eye in Mexico in 1926. The Abstract Expressionists made their splash on the art scene in 1946 and blossumed into the 1950's.
    I am aware of Brett's early foray into "abstract" work during his time in Mexico with his dad. I have more in mind his later work which always reminded me, compositionally, of the work of Kline and Motherwell.
    As far as the work of the Abstract Expressionist goes, I am well aware of their time table and importance as I have taken enough modern art history classes to have majored in that subject instead of sculpture.

    gene
    gene LaFord


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  7. #27
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    My favorites are many of the original masters and some second generation
    Adolph gottlieb, Joan mitchell with Sam francis at the top of the heap

    I don't see a way of doing this type of art with a camera outside of photographing moonlight on water and camera shake type stuff or possibly composites ..slippery slope though to make claim of anything

  8. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by papagene View Post
    I am aware of Brett's early foray into "abstract" work during his time in Mexico with his dad. I have more in mind his later work which always reminded me, compositionally, of the work of Kline and Motherwell.
    As far as the work of the Abstract Expressionist goes, I am well aware of their time table and importance as I have taken enough modern art history classes to have majored in that subject instead of sculpture.

    gene
    Brett blossomed into abstraction as a 13 year old in Mexico and kept that eye for the next six decades. Any similarity to Kline, Motherwell or anyone else is a coincidence. Brett was not only a photographer, he was also a magnificent sculptor. And the vast majority of his sculptures are three dimensional presentations of his abstract photography. It all goes together because that is how Brett saw the world.

  9. #29
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    Brett blossomed into abstraction as a 13 year old in Mexico and kept that eye for the next six decades. Any similarity to Kline, Motherwell or anyone else is a coincidence. Brett was not only a photographer, he was also a magnificent sculptor. And the vast majority of his sculptures are three dimensional presentations of his abstract photography. It all goes together because that is how Brett saw the world.
    That's a good point, one that I hadn't thought of, I knew he sculptured and worked with wood but I hadn't connected the two together.
    Everytime I find a film or paper that I like, they discontinue it. - Paul Strand - Aperture monograph on Strand

  10. #30

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    there a good german book on what's happening with abstract photography call "art of abstract photography - die kunst de abstrakt fotografie" (? i think that's the spelling ) and it's got some great essays discussing definitions etc. definitely european in its sourcing of photographers. an interesting contemporary at the moment is this guy http://www.ericklemm.com/

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