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The Art of Frederick Sommer: Photography, Drawing, Collage

Overview

This stunning book?published in the artist?s centenary?chronicles the extraordinary life and work of Frederick Sommer (1905?1999). One of the great masters and key innovators in the history of art photography, Sommer was a complex and highly creative individual. His work in photography is unconventional and fascinating for its wide range of methodologies and techniques. He also explored making images with other media, creating masterful drawings, collages, and musical scores.
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Overview

This stunning book—published in the artist’s centenary—chronicles the extraordinary life and work of Frederick Sommer (1905–1999). One of the great masters and key innovators in the history of art photography, Sommer was a complex and highly creative individual. His work in photography is unconventional and fascinating for its wide range of methodologies and techniques. He also explored making images with other media, creating masterful drawings, collages, and musical scores.
Arriving in Arizona in 1931, Sommer abandoned his original profession, landscape architecture, and began painting and drawing. After meeting Alfred Stieglitz in 1935 and Edward Weston in 1936, Sommer embraced and quickly mastered photography. Other artists who later proved inspirational to Sommer included Precisionist painter and photographer Charles Sheeler, Surrealist artist Max Ernst, and photographer Aaron Siskind.

With an essay by photo historian Keith F. Davis, exquisite reproductions of Sommer’s diverse works, and a detailed chronology of his life by April Watson, The Art of Frederick Sommer describes and documents the full extent of the artist’s achievement as a twentieth-century visionary. The book is a revelation for scholars, artists, students, and everyone who admires and appreciates creative genius.

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Editorial Reviews

Emmet Gowin
"With powerful images and eloquent text, The Art of Frederick Sommer presents the life’s work of our greatest visual poet. This is a book for the ages and a celebration of one hundred years, and it confirms how Sommer’s ideas and sources link him to a profound belief in aesthetics as a way of life. To all who now hold this book in their hands: your life may never be the same. "—Emmet Gowin, Princeton University
Library Journal
This year marks the centenary of artist and photographer Frederick Sommer's birth. To celebrate the occasion, the J. Paul Getty Museum, the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, and the Snite Museum of Art, University of Notre Dame, will install exhibitions. Then there's this monograph-the first to focus exclusively on Sommer-that offers absorbing, little-known details of his life, literary and philosophical influences, and development as an artist. Excerpts from his poetry and sage remarks quoted in such eminent publications as Aperture are often displayed adjacent to complementary photographs, collages, and drawings and do much to suggest artistic intention. In his essay, photo historian Davis (art history, Univ. of Missouri) vividly sets out the particulars of Sommer's life and plumbs fascinating philosophical depths, adding a valance of complexity and meaning to his powerfully visceral photographs, collages, and more abstract drawings. Meanwhile, Michael Torosian (proprietor, Lumiere Press, Canada) offers an interview that renders the artist's scholarly recollections and perceptions accessible to contemporary readers. For her part, April M. Watson, an independent art history and photography scholar, contributes a meticulous, photo-rich chronology of Sommer's life experiences. Recommended for all collections focusing on photography and surrealism.-Savannah Schroll, formerly with Smithsonian Inst. Libs. Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780300107838
  • Publisher: Yale University Press
  • Publication date: 4/10/2005
  • Pages: 252
  • Product dimensions: 11.50 (w) x 13.06 (h) x 1.28 (d)

Meet the Author

Keith F. Davis is Hallmark Fine Art Programs director and visiting research professor of art history, University of Missouri, Kansas City. Michael Torosian is proprietor of Lumiere Press, Canada. April M. Watson is research associate and adjunct professor, Department of Art and Art History, University of Missouri, Kansas City.

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