Photographer Brett Weston (1911-1993) is celebrated as one of the great mid-century American photographers, known for his distinctive approach to a wide range of subjects, including cityscapes, landscapes, and abstractions. Weston’s father, the influential photographer Edward Weston, taught him how to use a large-format camera when he was a teenager in 1925. Within a few months, Edward said that Brett was “doing better work at fourteen than I did at thirty.” In 1929, the German exhibition Film und Foto, a paramount avant-garde exhibition held between the two World Wars, featured a group of photographs by the young artist, bringing him international recognition.
Much of Weston’s early work focused on urban spaces in New York and San Francisco. Even amidst the man-made structures of New York City, however, trees and other vegetation feature prominently. Later in his career, Weston would turn more explicitly to nature, photographing scenery close to his home near Carmel, California, and during his travels across the United States, Japan, Mexico, and Europe. He concentrated on elemental forms found in nature, removed from their larger contexts to create abstract images of astounding beauty and mystery.