Where to Go and What to See

Check out the Getty Website for lots of cool lectures, tours, and events pertaining to these exhibitions too.

Thank goodness for the Getty. I would have had to leave this week's event listing blank if weren't for an impressive double offering at the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles. First up we have Edward Weston: Enduring Vision, a retrospective of 150 images from the museum's permanent collection, the home of much of the Californian photographer's work. Aside from the exhibition itself -- which I'm sure will be a welcome chance to see the evolution of Weston's subjects as well as the continuity of his vision -- the Getty is also publishing a book recreated from Weston's own plan for a book of nudes. The book, created with Nancy Newhall in 1953, never found a publisher, and pages had been lost by the time the Getty acquired the mock-up in 1985. In 2005 Getty curator and Weston biographer Brett Abbott figured out how to reconstruct the book; it is being published in its entirety, as Weston imagined it, in conjunction with the show.

The Getty is opening Recent History: Photographs by Luc Delahaye at the same time; both exhibitions will run from July 31 to November 25. Delahaye, a Frenchman and former Magnum member, is well known for his photojournalistic work in Lebanon, Afghanistan, Rwanda, Chechnya, and Bosnia -- but also for dismissing photojournalism as "neither photography or journalism," and for renouncing it in favor of "fine-art" photography. The 10 images in the Getty show are the large-scale, infinitely detailed, politically potent tableaux Delahaye is now known for. Now, huge detailed prints are hardly ground-breaking, in the museum world especially, but this quote from Delahaye in a well-written article on artnet.com gives me faith that his work, or at least the thinking behind it, transcends the trendiness of big prints: "The press is for me just a means of photographing, for material, not for telling the truth. In magazines, the images are vulgar, reality is reduced to a symbolic or simplistic function...one of the reasons for the photographs' large size is to make them incompatible with the economy of the press."

Check out the Getty Website for lots of cool lectures, tours, and events pertaining to these exhibitions too.

~Miki Johnson

(Photo: Pages from a mock-up for Edward Weston's book of nudes, 1953. © 1981 Arizona Board of Regents, Center for Creative Photography. Gift of Melvin and Elaine Wolf.)