Oklahoma City Museum of Art announces exhibitions by Brett Weston and Ansel Adams

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Oklahoma City Museum of Art announces exhibitions by Brett Weston and Ansel Adams
Ansel Adams (American, 1902-1984). Georgia O’Keeffe and Orville Cox, Canyon de Chelly National Monument, Arizona, 1937. Gelatin silver print. Collection of the Museum of Photographic Arts; Gift of Weston Gallery, Inc., 1985.036.001, ©2014 The Ansel Adams Publishing Rights Trust.

OKLAHOMA CITY, OKLA.- In celebration of a recent gift from Christian Keesee of 150 photographs by the noted American photographer Brett Weston, the Oklahoma City Museum of Art organized “Brett Weston: Land, Sea, and Sky, Recent Gifts from the Christian Keesee Collection” on view from March 15 to June 1, 2014. This exhibition includes examples from 1940 to 1985, and consist predominantly of mud, rock, and ice abstractions, in addition to examples highlighting Brett’s travels to Baja California, Michigan, Florida, Alaska, Mexico, and Japan.

“The Oklahoma City Museum of Art is honored to have received 150 photographs over the past three years from the Christian K. Keesee Collection,” said Oklahoma City Museum of Art President and CEO E. Michael Whittington. “Brett Weston's photographs form an important part of the Museum's growing photography collection and we are excited to expand our holdings of this important photographer’s work and now share it during this outstanding exhibition.”

Brett Weston was the second son of photographer Edward Weston. At the age of 13 his father took him to Mexico where he began taking photographs with his father’s Graflex 3 ¼ x 4 ¼ camera. While there, Brett was exposed to the works of revolutionary artists including Diego Rivera, José Clemente Orozco, and Tina Modotti, who influenced his sense of form and composition. Brett returned to California with his father in 1926 and began to exhibit his own works, while assisting Edward in his portrait studio. Brett’s work received international attention after being included in the important 1929 “Film und Foto” exhibition held in Stuttgart, Germany.

Along with his father, and fellow photographer such as Ansel Adams and Imogen Cunningham, he exhibited with Group f/64 in 1932. Brett’s work often incorporates the use of close-ups and abstracted details, displaying a preference for high-contrast imagery, which reduces his subjects to pure form. Throughout his career, he has repeatedly photographed subjects including tangled kelp, plant leaves, and knotted roots and has made numerous photography trips to Europe, Baja California, Oregon, Alaska, and Hawaii, among other locations. Brett’s work became increasingly abstract in the 1970s as he began to more fully utilize a 2 ¼ inch format reflex camera. He spent a considerable amount of time taking photographs in Hawaii, during the 1980s, before his death in his Kona home in 1993.

In conjunction with “Brett Weston: Land, Sea, and Sky,” the Museum opened “Ansel Adams: An American Perspective.” Organized by the Museum of Photographic Arts, San Diego, this exhibition features nearly sixty photographs by the iconic American photographer Ansel Adams. As one of the founding members of Group f/64, Adams helped bring a new West Coast vision of “straight” photography to national attention and influence. He was the first photographer to successfully “brand” himself by developing name/image recognition. Through his photographs, books, and workshops, he advanced the medium of photography so that people expanded not only their own knowledge of photography, but also their appreciation and concern for nature. Ansel Adams will explore the energy, intelligence, and risks Adams took in order to succeed as an artist and conservationist, bringing together his most celebrated images alongside introducing lesser-known aspects of his work.

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