The editorial categories are research topics that have guided researchers during the recovery phase and continue to be the impetus behind the Documents Project’s digital archive and the Critical Documents book series. Developed by the project’s Editorial Board, each of the teams analyzed this framework and adapted it to their local contexts in developing their research objectives and work plans during the Recovery Phase. Learn more on the Editorial Framework page.
This is a review by Anita Brenner of Edward Weston’s exhibition in Guadalajara, Jalisco. Brenner discusses the differences of photography, stating that Weston is “emphatically a photographer and not a painter with a lens.” However, in her explanation, Brenner emphasizes his artistic nature because “he uses the [ad hoc] elements from which his works are made of.” He is the type of artist who manages to breathe life into the objects around him, to turn them into subjects and not just make portraits. She extols his capability to capture the modernity of the industrial world (exemplified by smokestacks) with photographic accuracy. She concludes with a sentence that clearly portrays “Weston as a Centaur, half horse, carrying his camera as if it were part of his body.”
This critical review of the work of Edward Weston shows both the author’s importance and her altered way of conceiving and perceiving the modernist takes of this photographer working in the 1920s. Anita Brenner (1905–1974), a key cultural promoter in Mexico, invited Weston and Tina Modotti (1896–1942) to produce one of the most important books on Mexican art in the period: Ídolos tras los altares [Idols behind the Altars]. It includes a huge collection of photographs from the Mexican provinces because Brenner admired the work and the iconographic concepts handled by both camera artists. In addition, her symbolic description of Weston gives a clear idea of the photographer’s dedication to his work as well as his interest in creating a unique aesthetic for photography.The American photographer Weston arrived in Mexico with his disciple Tina Modotti in August 1923. Both became involved in artistic and intellectual circles and participated in several exhibitions; the two published their photographs and essays on photography in journals such as Mexican Folkways and Forma. While in Mexico, Weston and Modotti promoted the use of photography from another kind of approach: capturing the image based on the characteristics specific to photography, thus moving away from the pictorial school. Weston would leave Mexico in 1927 to make his permanent home in California.