Edward Weston - The Odyssey of Collecting: Photographs from Joy of Giving Something Foundation, Part 1 New York Monday, April 3, 2017 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Christie's, New York, 5 October 1995, lot 35

  • Literature

    Conger, Edward Weston: Photographs, no. 1569
    Newhall, Supreme Instants: The Photography of Edward Weston, pl. 70

  • Catalogue Essay

    Edward Weston’s White Sands, New Mexico shows the delicacy and minimalism present in his later work. Taken in 1941, just seven years before he would cease to photograph, it is an image that consists, essentially, of only two elements: sand and sky. This minimalist approach would reach an apogee in the final photographs Weston would make at Point Lobos in 1948.

    Weston and his colleague and friend Ansel Adams worked along parallel paths in their photography of the American landscape. Both maintained an abiding respect for the craft of photography, and held a Modernist’s trust in the ability of the camera to render the visual world truthfully. While Adams continued throughout his career to document, with crystalline clarity, the exuberance of detail and texture in the natural world, Weston began paring down his images to include less and less. A minimalist impulse was always present in his work, but plays an increasing role starting, perhaps, with his 1936 studies of the dunes at Oceano. In White Sands, New Mexico, made in the following decade, Weston has distilled the image to its bare essentials.

    Weston had built his artistic career upon a foundation of technical mastery. In David Travis’s essay, "Imperfectly Unknown," he discusses how, in the 1940s, Weston was “working beyond virtuosity” to create work that was deeply personal. He writes, “Weston could not dismiss the virtuosity that he had taken so long to perfect, but, unlike other photographers he was able to transcend it in order to express a deeper sense of his own existence” (At the Edge of the Light, p. 113).

    Other prints of this image are in the collections of the Baltimore Museum of Art and George Eastman House, Rochester, New York.


White Sands, New Mexico

Gelatin silver print.
7 5/8 x 9 1/2 in. (19.4 x 24.1 cm)
Initialed and dated in pencil on the mount; signed, titled and dated in pencil on the reverse of the mount.

$50,000 - 70,000 

Sold for $68,750

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The Odyssey of Collecting: Photographs from Joy of Giving Something Foundation, Part 1

New York 3 April 2017