From transforming Japanese reeds into abstract squiggles to highlighting the stark beauty of a dead leaf, Brett Weston’s photographs reveal his unusual way of seeing the world.
For the second time in five years, the Oklahoma City Museum of Art is showing a substantial exhibition of the famed photographer’s work, thanks to a generous gift.
“The Oklahoma City Museum of Art is honored to have received 150 photographs over the past three years from the Christian K. Keesee Collection,” said E. Michael Whittington, the museum’s president and CEO, in a statement.
“Brett Weston’s photographs form an important part of the Museum’s growing photography collection, and we are excited to expand our holdings of this important photographer’s work and now share it during this outstanding exhibition.”
Organized by the museum, “Brett Weston: Land, Sea and Sky — Recent Gifts From the Christian K. Keesee Collection” opens Saturday in the first-floor special exhibitions gallery, where it will be shown alongside works by another famous 20th-century American photographer: Ansel Adams.
“Land, Sea and Sky” features examples of Brett Weston’s work from 1940 to 1985, including his mud, rock and ice abstractions, his striking images of dead birds and leaves and his close-up views of broken glass. The black-and-white photos also highlight his travels to Baja California, Michigan, Florida, Alaska, Mexico and Japan.
The 150 photographs in the exhibit were given to the museum between 2010 and 2012, said Museum of Art curator Alison Amick. Since 2004, the museum has received 360 Brett Weston photos from the Christian Keesee Collection. The museum showed more than 130 different examples of the California photographer’s work in the 2008 exhibit “Brett Weston: Out of the Shadow.”
The museum is excited to show more of Weston’s work thanks to the latest gift, Amick said.
“It certainly will have a different spirit than the last exhibition. It will have still some of his iconic images, but it will have some images that I really hadn’t seen before by Brett Weston, so I think that makes it really fascinating,” she said.
“The exhibit will be arranged thematically. It will look at different forms that inspired him. So, you’ll be able to really see the different places he traveled to make his photographs, but also you’ll get a sense for the quality of his eye and his ability to see these fascinating details and make these close-up abstractions.”
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•When: Saturday through June 1.
•Where: Oklahoma City Museum of Art, 415 Couch Drive.
•Members’ preview: 6 to 10 p.m. Friday. Free for members and $10 for nonmembers.
•Free Family Day: Noon to 5 p.m. April 13.
•Information: 236-3100 or www.okcmoa.com.