EDWARD WESTON (1886–1958)
Nude on Sand, Oceano, 1936
gelatin silver print, mounted on board, printed 1940s
initialed and dated in pencil (mount, recto); credited, titled and dated on affixed gallery label (frame backing board)
image/sheet: 7 1/2 x 9 1/2 in. (19 x 24.1 cm.)
mount: 14 x 15 ½ in. (35.5 x 39.3 cm.)
Fahey Klein Gallery, Los Angeles;
acquired from the above by the present owner, 1992.
Edward Weston, "Light vs. Lighting", Camera Craft, vol. 46, no. 5, May 1939, p. 204.
Beaumont Newhall, "Edward Weston in Retrospect", Popular Photography, vol. 18, March 1946, pp. 42-43.
Merle Armitage (ed.), Fifty Photographs: Edward Weston, Duell, Sloan and Pearce, New York, 1947, pl. 19.
Charis Wilson, Edward Weston: Nudes, Aperture, New York, 1977, p. 85.
Ben Maddow, Edward Weston: His Life and Photographs, Aperture, New York, 1979, p. 171.
Amy Conger, Edward Weston: Photographs from the Collection of the Center for Creative Photography, Center for Creative Photography, Tucson, 1992, fig. 928/1936.
Gilles Mora (ed.), Edward Weston: Forms of Passion, Harry N. Abrams, New York, 1995, p. 216.
Exhibition catalogue, Edward Weston: Photography and Modernism, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, 1999, pl. 72.
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Lot Essay

In 1936, there was a single, extraordinary, outdoor ‘sitting’ when Charis Wilson accompanied Weston on an outing to the Oceano shore. She expected only to watch and assist as he continued the great series of dune landscapes, but enchanted by the beach’s silence and beauty, took off her clothes and ‘went diving down a steep slope.’ Weston turned away from his landscape and instead made a series of ten images of Charis on the sand. In this, apparently Weston's most preferred image from the series, the pose is effortless, sleek and still remarkably sensual.

As reported by Amy Conger in Edward Weston: Photographs from the Collection of the Center for Creative Photography, in 1937 Weston sent the artist Charles Sheeler a print of the same image from this series on offer here. Sheeler compared the image to an 'Ingres Odalisque' and declared it to be 'one of the outstanding photographs in the field for me' (Conger, 1992). The extensive exhibition history for prints of this image indicates that Weston also found the image to be among his most compelling Oceano nude.

The print on offer here is mounted, initialed and dated by the artist. Other prints of this image are in prestigious collections including, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Art Institute of Chicago; and The Amon Carter Museum, Fort Worth, among others.

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