The essay will examine the works of three artists i.e. Edward Weston, Tina Modotti and Manuel Alvarez Bravo; they were instrumental in the Modernist era. Modernism was characterised by focus on clear life forms. It was quite distinct from the previous era of pictorialism…
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The essay "Modernism - Edward Weston, Tina Modotti, Manuel Alvarez Bravo" discusses modernism through the works of Edward Weston, Tina Modotti and Manuel Alvarez Bravo. Edward Weston’s career in photography lasted for a period of fifty years. He took his last photograph ten years before his death. The rest of his years were spent battling Parkinson’s disease. This artist was quite instrumental in capturing the Modernism era during the twentieth Century. Weston was best known for capturing the real essence of life. Most of his photographs were rather idealistic as he had the ability to bring out the full essence of life using his camera. Weston was particularly fond of using an eight by ten inch camera. This facilitated thorough inspection of life forms and was one of the basic influences on the Modernist era. However, the phase of Modernism cannot be represented by one particular style of photography. As a matter of fact, the same can be said of this particular artist. Weston’s career was not static; it transformed with the times. At the beginning, Weston began with a pastoralist period. However, Mexico changed all this because Weston spent a considerable period of life there. Afterwards, the latter country transformed his work into close images. Mexico made Weston get more interested in life form that included vegetables, landscapes and even nudes. Towards the end of his career, Weston changed his preferences and began doing complex images. Most of the latter pieces were don in California.
Modernism as a form of art and photography is based upon the belief that particular objects need not be the main characters. Modernism allows for a number of objects to be used within an art form without making one stand out. This is exactly what Weston did towards the end of his career. This was the point at which Weston made a landmark contribution towards Modernist concepts. Using the influences form Mexico, Weston began making photographs that were fugal and mixed up. These images rarely had one particular subject at hand. He made use of natural objects such as see weeds and Rocks in order to achieve this. One can say that Weston had finally discovered who he really was. It is a known fact that most artists normally struggle with surrounding influences in order to forge their own style. It is indeed very evident that Weston underwent these struggles through the many phase of his career. But he finally discovered his true self after the abandonment of iconic pictures. During the first years of his career, Weston was particularly fond of centrality and unification of issues. These were all ideas that he forsook after he started taking more basic images. 2
It is also important to note that one of the outstanding issues in Weston's work was the fact that he seemed to take issue of printing very seriously. During the Modernist era, there was a serious respect for beautifully printed images. This is an aspect that Weston covered critically. For instance most of his prints are quite refined. He considered this aspect as the epitome of his work. Other artists may not be very interested in the printed versions of their work. Most of them may tend to focus on the theme of their work. The latter view is especially prominent in post modernist eras.
Weston's manner of photography was unique to his work at that time. However, his methods became very famous later on. He influenced other artists in the Modernism era. For instance, he was one of the first artists to mount his camera on a tripod. He was also instrumental in making most photographers take up the use of large format negatives. Additionally, Weston was instrumental in ensuring that prints were
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