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Edward Weston

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Edited by Manfred Heiting. Taschen, 1999. 252pp. £24.99

In a notebook of 1922, Edward Weston wrote that the artist must respond to 'the architecture of the age, good or bad - showing it in new and fascinating ways', writes Andrew Mead. That same year, with images of the Armco steel mill in Ohio, he forsook soft-edged Pictorialist photography (his practice in the previous decade) for a sharp Modernist appreciation of the industrial. In subsequent studies of vegetables (right), fruit and shells, the subjects fill the frame to become allusive, sometimes almost anthropomorphic. During the 1930s, landscape was a dominant theme for Weston, in rippling sand dunes and eroded rocks; though, as Terence Pitts points out in his introductory essay, 'he expanded the visual vocabulary of landscape photography to include the man-made world - buildings, roads, signs, utility poles, fences.' When picturing the man-made, Weston's preference was for anonymous design, but one signature building does appear - Taliesin West (left), in a stark semi-abstraction. Taschen's substantial hardback, with 180 good reproductions, is one of its better- value books.

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