The Museum of Santa Giulia is the fulcrum of the Brescia Photo Festival in its 5th edition. Photography is, of course, displayed in several other places in town: the leitmotiv is The Shapes of Portrait. Within this context, the exhibition WESTON. Edward, Brett, Cole, Cara. A Dynasty of Photographers is right here in this museum.
It’s a quite interesting monographic exhibition devoted to Edward Weston, whose works are on show (for the first time in Italy) alongside those of his sons Brett and Cole and of his granddaughter Cara. There are eighty pictures on show: forty are by Edward, including his art portraits, nudes, sand dunes, objects turned into sculptures, his well-known vegetables and shells (which testify of his quest for purity in compositional forms and visual perfection). The other works are by Brett, Cole and Cara.
According to Stefano Karadjov, director of the Fondazione Brescia Musei, “a Weston family trait is their ability to modernize the language of their art through their poetics”. The exhibition presents a profound interpretation of modernity, “first by Edward Weston and then, quite differently, by his sons and granddaughter, which places the body and the elements of the animal and vegetable kingdoms on the same level, by treating them with a portraitist’s eye”.
The exhibition tells the story of artistic experiences that span over a century of photography, history and images, while connecting Edward Weston’s works with those of his family, allowing visitors to discover Brett’s investigation of the representation of nature, Cole’s formal research and Cara’s meditative approach to photography.
“This show begins with a picture taken with an 8×10 Graflex camera and ends with digitally captured images, after passing through a century of photography and history: a century of images of a constantly changing world”, curator Filippo Maggia says. “Edward Weston’s children grew up watching their father constantly accruing expertise while also spurring them on to new heights by dint of rivalry and reciprocal comparison. It is to this experience they owe their artistic style and consequent fame. By absorbing his lessons day after day, by emulating his obstinately inquisitive approach to his art, and even by adopting some of his rather sacrilegious practices, they obtained a perfect blend of technical knowledge and driving passion. One by one they managed over the years to develop their own distinct and autonomous styles”, he says.
Indeed, what distinguishes all of them was their ability to interpret the times in which they lived. “They sensed what their historical times were longing to express, and responded with formal photographic representations. The photos shown in the exhibition should not be looked at as a sort of family portrait, nor are the result of a craft being handed down from generation to generation. Rather, the object of the exhibition is to present a judiciously selected series of works that are properly representative of the diverse artistic experiences, different lives and different times of these different artists”, Maggia adds.
The exhibition, produced by the Fondazione Brescia Musei and Skira, is designed together with the Weston family. The catalogue is published by Skira.
The 5th Brescia Photo Festival is promoted by the Municipality of Brescia and Fondazione Brescia Musei, in collaboration with Ma.Co.f – Centro della fotografia italiana, with the artistic curatorship of Renato Corsini. Alongside the Museum of Santa Giulia, the event is also featured in other places, including Pinacoteca Tosio Martinengo, Mo.Ca. – Centro per le Nuove Culture, Civic Museum of Natural Science, Fondazione Vittorio Leonesio di Puegnago del Garda and Cantine Berlucchi di Cortefranca.
By the way, since 2011, the monumental complex of San Salvatore – Santa Giulia and the Roman Brescia Archaeological Park have been included in the World Heritage List, promoted by UNESCO in the serial site “The Longobards in Italy”.
WESTON. Edward, Brett, Cole, Cara. A Dynasty of photographers
Brescia Photo Festival, 5th edition
March 31 – July 24, 2022
Museo di Santa Giulia
Via Musei 81b, 25121 Brescia, Italy