EDWARD WESTON (1886–1958)
Dunes, Oceano, 1936
gelatin silver print, mounted on board, printed c. 1940
initialed and dated in pencil (mount, recto); signed, titled and dated in pencil (mount, verso)
image/sheet: 712 x 912 in. (19 x 24.1 cm.)
mount: 1214 x 1414 in. (31.1 x 36.1 cm.)
Private collection, Oberlin, Ohio;
Gift of the above to a Private Collector, 1980;
Sotheby’s New York, October 5, 2021 lot 63;
acquired from the above by the present owner.
Edward Weston, Edward Weston: Fifty Years, Aperture, New York, 1973, p. 167.
Beaumont Newhall, Supreme Instants: The Photography of Edward Weston, New York Graphic Society & Little, Brown and Company, Boston, 1986, cover and pl. 68.
Carl Haenlein et. al., The Artificial of the Real: Anton Josef Trcka, Edward Weston, Helmut Newton , Hanover, 1998, p. 121
Theodore E. Stebbins, Jr., Karen Quinn, and Leslie Furth, Edward Weston: Photography and Modernism, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, 1999, pl. 81.
Jennifer A. Watts, ed., Edward Weston, A Legacy, The Huntington Library, Los Angeles, 2003, p. 28
Kurt Markus, Dune: Edward & Brett Weston, Kalispell, Montana, 2003, p. 91.
Manfred Heiting, ed., Edward Weston, Cologne, 2004, p. 145.
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Lot Essay

Dunes, Oceano, 1936 stands as a testament to Edward Weston's enduring legacy as a Master of Photography and a visionary artist. Through this iconic work, Weston invites us to contemplate the beauty and wonder of the natural world, to see beyond the surface and into the soul of nature itself. Edward Weston's photographic journey was marked by a deep appreciation for the natural world and a relentless pursuit of capturing its essence through his lens.

In 1936, during a time of economic hardship in the United States, Weston ventured to the dunes of Oceano, California, seeking solace and inspiration in the undulating landscapes shaped by wind and time. Against the backdrop of the Great Depression, Weston's exploration of the dunes symbolized a quest for beauty and tranquility amidst chaos and uncertainty.

The photograph features a series of sand dunes sculpted by nature's elements, their graceful curves and textures rendered in exquisite detail. Weston's keen eye for light and shadow is evident in the play of sunlight across the dunes, creating a sense of depth and dimension that draws the viewer into the scene. The contrast between light and dark, the interplay of shapes and lines, all contribute to the photograph's visual impact and emotional resonance. Dunes, Oceano evokes a sense of timelessness and eternity, reminding us of the fleeting yet enduring beauty of the world around us.

The present lot is initialed, mounted and is a vintage print. In the 1940’s Edward Weston’s printing style started to evolve by emphasizing sharpness and detail in his prints that we don’t see before this year. Weston also started to focus his attention to the tonal range in each image and began to experiment on different types of photographic paper that would assist him in creating this harmonious balance of dark and light. This photograph is a historical object that is a beautiful example of Weston refining his master printing style. Another print of this image is located in the collection of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.

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