fbpx
Henry Wessel
Santa Barbara, California, 1977

Wessel once said of his work, “I am delighted when a photograph is muscular and at the same time beautiful.” This powerfully elegant arrangement of horizontals and cast shadows certainly meets his criteria.

Unposed, the photograph is the result of Wessel’s direct approach to the medium: he goes out to shoot without a preconceived plan and lets his eye serve as his guide. There is something magical about this spontaneous scene — the angled light of a Southern California morning, the flock of birds frozen in mid-flight, the ordinary man observing it all. Although it appears to suggest a larger narrative, it is merely a moment captured on film.

Artwork Info

Artwork title
Santa Barbara, California
Artist name
Henry Wessel
Date created
1977
Classification
photograph
Medium
gelatin silver print
Dimensions
16 in. × 19 3/4 in. (40.64 cm × 50.17 cm)
Date acquired
1985
Credit
Collection SFMOMA
Gift of Dr. and Mrs. William R. Fielder
Copyright
© Estate of Henry Wessel
Permanent URL
https://www.sfmoma.org/artwork/85.811
Artwork status
Not on view at this time.

Other Works by Henry Wessel

Please note that artwork locations are subject to change, and not all works are on view at all times. If you are planning a visit to SFMOMA to see a specific work of art, we suggest you contact us at collections@sfmoma.org to confirm it will be on view.

Only a portion of SFMOMA's collection is currently online, and the information presented here is subject to revision. Please contact us at collections@sfmoma.org to verify collection holdings and artwork information. If you are interested in receiving a high resolution image of an artwork for educational, scholarly, or publication purposes, please contact us at copyright@sfmoma.org.

This resource is for educational use and its contents may not be reproduced without permission. Please review our Terms of Use for more information.