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The artist as a refugee from L.A. life

August 05, 2007|Suzanne Muchnic

Edward Weston fell for Los Angeles upon his arrival in 1906, but he went back to the Midwest to finish his training at the Illinois College of Photography. He returned to Southern California in 1908 and settled in Glendale, then known as Tropico, where he established himself as a photographer, married, started a family and developed friendships with avant-garde artists.

But in 1923 -- 17 years and four children later -- Weston took off for Mexico with Tina Modotti, his model, student and lover. Finished with L.A., he all but wiped it out of his life by destroying many of his photographs and personal papers.

Why? You'll have to go to "Edward Weston's Love/Hate Relationship with Los Angeles," a lecture by photography historian Beth Gates Warren, at 7 p.m. Sept. 13 at the Getty Center. If anyone has the answer, it must be Warren, who has spent a decade figuring out why Weston attempted to expunge L.A. from his story.

The lecture complements "Edward Weston: Enduring Vision," a just-opened 30-year survey of his work on exhibit at the J. Paul Getty Museum through Nov. 25. Lecture reservations: (310) 440-7300 or www.getty.edu.

-- Suzanne Muchnic

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