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EDWARD WESTON (1886-1958)
by Peter Krasnow (1890-1979)
Edward Weston's signature photographic style did not emerge until a three-year stay in Mexico (1923-1926). There, the brilliant light seemed to demand a sharply focused image, and this influence, combined with the impact of modernist painting and the revolutionary photographs of Paul Strand and Charles Sheeler, led Weston to create the precise images—whether portraits, still-lifes, nudes, or landscapes—for which he became known.

Russian-born painter and sculptor Peter Krasnow studied at the Art Institute of Chicago and later spent two years in New York City, where he learned about European modernism. He moved to the Los Angeles area in 1922 and immediately became close friends with Weston, a neighbor and fellow artist with whom he held joint exhibitions.

Weston returned briefly to Los Angeles from his seminal stay in Mexico during the first few months of 1925, and this is probably when Krasnow painted his portrait. The photographer noted in his daybook for that time that Krasnow was "the first of all my friends" to see his new work.
Oil on canvas, 1925
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
Gift of the artist
NPG.77.35
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