Frederick Sommer

Circumnavigation
February 4 - March 20, 2010
Exhibition Views Thumbnail View
Selected Works Thumbnail View
Frederick Sommer Untitled, c.1935-45 Ink on paper. 12 x 18 1/2 inchesFrederick Sommer Untitled, c.1935-45 Ink on paper. 12 x 18 1/2 inches

Frederick Sommer
Untitled, c.1935-45
Ink on paper. 12 x 18 1/2 inches

Frederick Sommer Valise d'Adam, 1949 Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed c. 1949-55. 9 3/8 x 7 7/16 inchesFrederick Sommer Valise d'Adam, 1949 Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed c. 1949-55. 9 3/8 x 7 7/16 inches

Frederick Sommer
Valise d'Adam, 1949
Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed c. 1949-55. 9 3/8 x 7 7/16 inches

Frederick Sommer Untitled, 1996 Collage on paper. 12 3/8 x 14 3/4 inchesFrederick Sommer Untitled, 1996 Collage on paper. 12 3/8 x 14 3/4 inches

Frederick Sommer
Untitled, 1996
Collage on paper. 12 3/8 x 14 3/4 inches

Frederick Sommer Untitled, 1941 Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed c. 1990. 9 1/2 x 7 7/16 inchesFrederick Sommer Untitled, 1941 Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed c. 1990. 9 1/2 x 7 7/16 inches

Frederick Sommer
Untitled, 1941
Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed c. 1990. 9 1/2 x 7 7/16 inches

Frederick Sommer Untitled, n.d. Pen and ink drawing on paper. 12 x 18 inchesFrederick Sommer Untitled, n.d. Pen and ink drawing on paper. 12 x 18 inches

Frederick Sommer
Untitled, n.d.
Pen and ink drawing on paper. 12 x 18 inches

Frederick Sommer Untitled, c. 1940 Gelatin silver print mounted to board. 9 1/2 x 7 5/8 inchesFrederick Sommer Untitled, c. 1940 Gelatin silver print mounted to board. 9 1/2 x 7 5/8 inches

Frederick Sommer
Untitled, c. 1940
Gelatin silver print mounted to board. 9 1/2 x 7 5/8 inches

Frederick Sommer Orminda, 1947 Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed c. 1970-85. 9 7/16 x 7 1/2 inchesFrederick Sommer Orminda, 1947 Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed c. 1970-85. 9 7/16 x 7 1/2 inches

Frederick Sommer
Orminda, 1947
Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed c. 1970-85. 9 7/16 x 7 1/2 inches

Frederick Sommer Lee Nevin, 1965 Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed c. 1965-70. 13 3/8 x 8 3/8 inchesFrederick Sommer Lee Nevin, 1965 Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed c. 1965-70. 13 3/8 x 8 3/8 inches

Frederick Sommer
Lee Nevin, 1965
Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed c. 1965-70. 13 3/8 x 8 3/8 inches

Frederick Sommer Untitled, 1963 Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed c. 1990s. 10 7/16 x 6 13/16 inchesFrederick Sommer Untitled, 1963 Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed c. 1990s. 10 7/16 x 6 13/16 inches

Frederick Sommer
Untitled, 1963
Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed c. 1990s. 10 7/16 x 6 13/16 inches

Frederick Sommer Galleria Borghese, 1960 Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed c. 1990s. 11 7/16 x 7 11/16 inchesFrederick Sommer Galleria Borghese, 1960 Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed c. 1990s. 11 7/16 x 7 11/16 inches

Frederick Sommer
Galleria Borghese, 1960
Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed c. 1990s. 11 7/16 x 7 11/16 inches

Frederick Sommer Untitled, 1997 Collage on paper. 13 x 14 5/16 inchesFrederick Sommer Untitled, 1997 Collage on paper. 13 x 14 5/16 inches

Frederick Sommer
Untitled, 1997
Collage on paper. 13 x 14 5/16 inches

Frederick Sommer Untitled, 1991 Collage on film box. 14 5/16 x 11 1/4 inchesFrederick Sommer Untitled, 1991 Collage on film box. 14 5/16 x 11 1/4 inches

Frederick Sommer
Untitled, 1991
Collage on film box. 14 5/16 x 11 1/4 inches

Frederick Sommer Max Ernst in Sedona, 1946 Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed c. 1960s. 9 7/16 x 7 9/16 inchesFrederick Sommer Max Ernst in Sedona, 1946 Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed c. 1960s. 9 7/16 x 7 9/16 inches

Frederick Sommer
Max Ernst in Sedona, 1946
Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed c. 1960s. 9 7/16 x 7 9/16 inches

Frederick Sommer Untitled, c. 1935-45 Ink on paper. 18 1/2 x 12 inchesFrederick Sommer Untitled, c. 1935-45 Ink on paper. 18 1/2 x 12 inches

Frederick Sommer
Untitled, c. 1935-45
Ink on paper. 18 1/2 x 12 inches

Frederick Sommer Untitled, 1990 Collage on paper mounted to board. 12 5/16 x 14 5/8 inchesFrederick Sommer Untitled, 1990 Collage on paper mounted to board. 12 5/16 x 14 5/8 inches

Frederick Sommer
Untitled, 1990
Collage on paper mounted to board. 12 5/16 x 14 5/8 inches

Frederick Sommer Untitled, c. 1947-52 Glue color drawing on paper. 12 x 18 1/2 inchesFrederick Sommer Untitled, c. 1947-52 Glue color drawing on paper. 12 x 18 1/2 inches

Frederick Sommer
Untitled, c. 1947-52
Glue color drawing on paper. 12 x 18 1/2 inches

Frederick Sommer Untitled, c. 1947-52 Glue color drawing on paper. 12 x 18 1/2 inchesFrederick Sommer Untitled, c. 1947-52 Glue color drawing on paper. 12 x 18 1/2 inches

Frederick Sommer
Untitled, c. 1947-52
Glue color drawing on paper. 12 x 18 1/2 inches

Frederick Sommer Untitled, 1946 Glue tempura on canvas. 50 3/16 x 50 1/8 inchesFrederick Sommer Untitled, 1946 Glue tempura on canvas. 50 3/16 x 50 1/8 inches

Frederick Sommer
Untitled, 1946
Glue tempura on canvas. 50 3/16 x 50 1/8 inches

Frederick Sommer Untitled, 1932 Crayon drawing on paper. 3 9/16 x 2 3/4 inchesFrederick Sommer Untitled, 1932 Crayon drawing on paper. 3 9/16 x 2 3/4 inches

Frederick Sommer
Untitled, 1932
Crayon drawing on paper. 3 9/16 x 2 3/4 inches

Frederick Sommer Untitled, c. 1959 Pencil drawing on paper. 14 x 8 1/2 inchesFrederick Sommer Untitled, c. 1959 Pencil drawing on paper. 14 x 8 1/2 inches

Frederick Sommer
Untitled, c. 1959
Pencil drawing on paper. 14 x 8 1/2 inches

Frederick Sommer Untitled, c. 1959 Pencil drawing on paper. 14 x 8 1/2 inchesFrederick Sommer Untitled, c. 1959 Pencil drawing on paper. 14 x 8 1/2 inches

Frederick Sommer
Untitled, c. 1959
Pencil drawing on paper. 14 x 8 1/2 inches

Frederick Sommer Untitled, c. 1959 Pencil drawing on paper. 14 x 8 1/2 inchesFrederick Sommer Untitled, c. 1959 Pencil drawing on paper. 14 x 8 1/2 inches

Frederick Sommer
Untitled, c. 1959
Pencil drawing on paper. 14 x 8 1/2 inches

Frederick Sommer Untitled, c. 1959 Pencil drawing on paper. 14 x 8 1/2 inchesFrederick Sommer Untitled, c. 1959 Pencil drawing on paper. 14 x 8 1/2 inches

Frederick Sommer
Untitled, c. 1959
Pencil drawing on paper. 14 x 8 1/2 inches

Frederick Sommer Untitled, c. 1995-99 Collage on paper mounted to board. 12 x 14 1/4 inchesFrederick Sommer Untitled, c. 1995-99 Collage on paper mounted to board. 12 x 14 1/4 inches

Frederick Sommer
Untitled, c. 1995-99
Collage on paper mounted to board. 12 x 14 1/4 inches

Frederick Sommer Untitled, 1946 Glue tempura on canvas. 42 1/4 x 50 1/4 inchesFrederick Sommer Untitled, 1946 Glue tempura on canvas. 42 1/4 x 50 1/4 inches

Frederick Sommer
Untitled, 1946
Glue tempura on canvas. 42 1/4 x 50 1/4 inches

Frederick Sommer Coyotes, 1945 Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed c. 1949-55. 7 1/2 x 9 9/16 inchesFrederick Sommer Coyotes, 1945 Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed c. 1949-55. 7 1/2 x 9 9/16 inches

Frederick Sommer
Coyotes, 1945
Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed c. 1949-55. 7 1/2 x 9 9/16 inches

Frederick Sommer Untitled, 1944 Glue color drawing on paper. 12 x 18 1/2 inchesFrederick Sommer Untitled, 1944 Glue color drawing on paper. 12 x 18 1/2 inches

Frederick Sommer
Untitled, 1944
Glue color drawing on paper. 12 x 18 1/2 inches

Frederick Sommer Untitled, 1944 Glue color drawing on paper. 12 x 18 1/2 inchesFrederick Sommer Untitled, 1944 Glue color drawing on paper. 12 x 18 1/2 inches

Frederick Sommer
Untitled, 1944
Glue color drawing on paper. 12 x 18 1/2 inches

Frederick Sommer Untitled, c. 1947-52 Glue color drawing on paper. 12 x 18 1/2 inchesFrederick Sommer Untitled, c. 1947-52 Glue color drawing on paper. 12 x 18 1/2 inches

Frederick Sommer
Untitled, c. 1947-52
Glue color drawing on paper. 12 x 18 1/2 inches

Frederick Sommer Untitled, 1951 Glue color drawing on paper. 12 x 18 1/2 inchesFrederick Sommer Untitled, 1951 Glue color drawing on paper. 12 x 18 1/2 inches

Frederick Sommer
Untitled, 1951
Glue color drawing on paper. 12 x 18 1/2 inches

Frederick Sommer Untitled, 1955 Glue color drawing on paper. 12 x 18 1/2 inchesFrederick Sommer Untitled, 1955 Glue color drawing on paper. 12 x 18 1/2 inches

Frederick Sommer
Untitled, 1955
Glue color drawing on paper. 12 x 18 1/2 inches

Frederick Sommer Untitled, c. 1947-52 Glue color drawing on paper. 12 x 18 1/2 inchesFrederick Sommer Untitled, c. 1947-52 Glue color drawing on paper. 12 x 18 1/2 inches

Frederick Sommer
Untitled, c. 1947-52
Glue color drawing on paper. 12 x 18 1/2 inches

Frederick Sommer Untitled, 1946 Glue tempura on canvas. 40 1/4 x 32 1/4 inchesFrederick Sommer Untitled, 1946 Glue tempura on canvas. 40 1/4 x 32 1/4 inches

Frederick Sommer
Untitled, 1946
Glue tempura on canvas. 40 1/4 x 32 1/4 inches

Frederick Sommer Untitled, c. 1950-55 Glue color drawing on paper. 12 x 18 1/2 inchesFrederick Sommer Untitled, c. 1950-55 Glue color drawing on paper. 12 x 18 1/2 inches

Frederick Sommer
Untitled, c. 1950-55
Glue color drawing on paper. 12 x 18 1/2 inches

Frederick Sommer Untitled, c. 1950-55 Glue color drawing on paper. 12 x 18 1/2 inchesFrederick Sommer Untitled, c. 1950-55 Glue color drawing on paper. 12 x 18 1/2 inches

Frederick Sommer
Untitled, c. 1950-55
Glue color drawing on paper. 12 x 18 1/2 inches

Frederick Sommer Smoke on Glass, 1962 Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed c. 1990s. 13 3/8 x 10 1/4 inchesFrederick Sommer Smoke on Glass, 1962 Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed c. 1990s. 13 3/8 x 10 1/4 inches

Frederick Sommer
Smoke on Glass, 1962
Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed c. 1990s. 13 3/8 x 10 1/4 inches

Frederick Sommer Untitled, c. 1967 Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed c. 1990s. 13 3/8 x 101/4 inchesFrederick Sommer Untitled, c. 1967 Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed c. 1990s. 13 3/8 x 101/4 inches

Frederick Sommer
Untitled, c. 1967
Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed c. 1990s. 13 3/8 x 101/4 inches

Frederick Sommer Untitled, 1948 Glue tempura on canvas. 50 11/16 x 35 3/8 inchesFrederick Sommer Untitled, 1948 Glue tempura on canvas. 50 11/16 x 35 3/8 inches

Frederick Sommer
Untitled, 1948
Glue tempura on canvas. 50 11/16 x 35 3/8 inches

Frederick Sommer Untitled, 1952 Pen and ink drawing on paper. 12 x 18 1/2 inchesFrederick Sommer Untitled, 1952 Pen and ink drawing on paper. 12 x 18 1/2 inches

Frederick Sommer
Untitled, 1952
Pen and ink drawing on paper. 12 x 18 1/2 inches

Frederick Sommer Untitled, 1942 Pen and ink drawing on paper. 12 x 18 1/2 inchesFrederick Sommer Untitled, 1942 Pen and ink drawing on paper. 12 x 18 1/2 inches

Frederick Sommer
Untitled, 1942
Pen and ink drawing on paper. 12 x 18 1/2 inches

Frederick Sommer Untitled, 1938 Pen and ink drawing on paper. 12 x 18 1/2 inchesFrederick Sommer Untitled, 1938 Pen and ink drawing on paper. 12 x 18 1/2 inches

Frederick Sommer
Untitled, 1938
Pen and ink drawing on paper. 12 x 18 1/2 inches

Frederick Sommer Untitled, c. 1938-42 Pen and ink drawing on paper. 12 x 18 1/2 inchesFrederick Sommer Untitled, c. 1938-42 Pen and ink drawing on paper. 12 x 18 1/2 inches

Frederick Sommer
Untitled, c. 1938-42
Pen and ink drawing on paper. 12 x 18 1/2 inches

Frederick Sommer Untitled, c. 1938-42 Pen and ink drawing on paper. 12 x 18 1/2 inchesFrederick Sommer Untitled, c. 1938-42 Pen and ink drawing on paper. 12 x 18 1/2 inches

Frederick Sommer
Untitled, c. 1938-42
Pen and ink drawing on paper. 12 x 18 1/2 inches

Frederick Sommer Untitled, c. 1940-45 Pen and ink drawing on paper. 12 x 18 1/2 inchesFrederick Sommer Untitled, c. 1940-45 Pen and ink drawing on paper. 12 x 18 1/2 inches

Frederick Sommer
Untitled, c. 1940-45
Pen and ink drawing on paper. 12 x 18 1/2 inches

Frederick Sommer Fighting Centaur, 1952 Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed c. 1970-85. 7 1/2 x 9 1/2 inchesFrederick Sommer Fighting Centaur, 1952 Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed c. 1970-85. 7 1/2 x 9 1/2 inches

Frederick Sommer
Fighting Centaur, 1952
Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed c. 1970-85. 7 1/2 x 9 1/2 inches

Frederick Sommer Untitled, c. 1950-55 Glue color drawing on paper. 12 x 18 1/2 inchesFrederick Sommer Untitled, c. 1950-55 Glue color drawing on paper. 12 x 18 1/2 inches

Frederick Sommer
Untitled, c. 1950-55
Glue color drawing on paper. 12 x 18 1/2 inches

Frederick Sommer Untitled, c. 1950-55 Pen and glue color drawing on paper. 11 15/16 x 9 1/4 inchesFrederick Sommer Untitled, c. 1950-55 Pen and glue color drawing on paper. 11 15/16 x 9 1/4 inches

Frederick Sommer
Untitled, c. 1950-55
Pen and glue color drawing on paper. 11 15/16 x 9 1/4 inches

Frederick Sommer San Lorenzo, Sinaloa, 1954 Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed c. 1960s. 12 3/4 x 8 1/2 inchesFrederick Sommer San Lorenzo, Sinaloa, 1954 Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed c. 1960s. 12 3/4 x 8 1/2 inches

Frederick Sommer
San Lorenzo, Sinaloa, 1954
Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed c. 1960s. 12 3/4 x 8 1/2 inches

Frederick Sommer Untitled, 1954 Pen and ink drawing on paper. 12 1/16 x 9 1/4 inchesFrederick Sommer Untitled, 1954 Pen and ink drawing on paper. 12 1/16 x 9 1/4 inches

Frederick Sommer
Untitled, 1954
Pen and ink drawing on paper. 12 1/16 x 9 1/4 inches

Frederick Sommer Untitled, 1990 Pen and ink drawing on paper. 11 1/2 x 7 3/16 inchesFrederick Sommer Untitled, 1990 Pen and ink drawing on paper. 11 1/2 x 7 3/16 inches

Frederick Sommer
Untitled, 1990
Pen and ink drawing on paper. 11 1/2 x 7 3/16 inches

Frederick Sommer Untitled, c. 1950s Pen and ink drawing on paper. 12 x 9 1/4 inchesFrederick Sommer Untitled, c. 1950s Pen and ink drawing on paper. 12 x 9 1/4 inches

Frederick Sommer
Untitled, c. 1950s
Pen and ink drawing on paper. 12 x 9 1/4 inches

Frederick Sommer Untitled, c. 1960s Pen and ink drawing on paper. 12 3/8 x 9 1/2 inchesFrederick Sommer Untitled, c. 1960s Pen and ink drawing on paper. 12 3/8 x 9 1/2 inches

Frederick Sommer
Untitled, c. 1960s
Pen and ink drawing on paper. 12 3/8 x 9 1/2 inches

Frederick Sommer Untitled, 1946 Glue tempura on canvas. 42 3/16 x 30 3/16 inchesFrederick Sommer Untitled, 1946 Glue tempura on canvas. 42 3/16 x 30 3/16 inches

Frederick Sommer
Untitled, 1946
Glue tempura on canvas. 42 3/16 x 30 3/16 inches

Frederick Sommer Untitled, 1996 Collage on paper. 19 1/8 x 20 15/16 inchesFrederick Sommer Untitled, 1996 Collage on paper. 19 1/8 x 20 15/16 inches

Frederick Sommer
Untitled, 1996
Collage on paper. 19 1/8 x 20 15/16 inches

Frederick Sommer Untitled, c. 1935-45 Ink on paper. 12 x 18 1/2 inchesFrederick Sommer Untitled, c. 1935-45 Ink on paper. 12 x 18 1/2 inches

Frederick Sommer
Untitled, c. 1935-45
Ink on paper. 12 x 18 1/2 inches

Frederick Sommer Untitled, 1937 Glue color drawing on paper. 12 x 18 1/4 inchesFrederick Sommer Untitled, 1937 Glue color drawing on paper. 12 x 18 1/4 inches

Frederick Sommer
Untitled, 1937
Glue color drawing on paper. 12 x 18 1/4 inches

Frederick Sommer Untitled, 1991 Collage on film box. 11 1/4 x 14 5/16 inchesFrederick Sommer Untitled, 1991 Collage on film box. 11 1/4 x 14 5/16 inches

Frederick Sommer
Untitled, 1991
Collage on film box. 11 1/4 x 14 5/16 inches

Frederick Sommer Untitled, 1991 Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed c. 1991. 7 1/8 x 8 13/16 inchesFrederick Sommer Untitled, 1991 Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed c. 1991. 7 1/8 x 8 13/16 inches

Frederick Sommer
Untitled, 1991
Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed c. 1991. 7 1/8 x 8 13/16 inches

Frederick Sommer Untitled, 1945 Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed c. 1945-50. 7 11/16 x 9 9/16 inchesFrederick Sommer Untitled, 1945 Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed c. 1945-50. 7 11/16 x 9 9/16 inches

Frederick Sommer
Untitled, 1945
Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed c. 1945-50. 7 11/16 x 9 9/16 inches

Frederick Sommer Untitled, c. 1990-95 Collage on film paper. 21 11/16 x 25 3/8 inchesFrederick Sommer Untitled, c. 1990-95 Collage on film paper. 21 11/16 x 25 3/8 inches

Frederick Sommer
Untitled, c. 1990-95
Collage on film paper. 21 11/16 x 25 3/8 inches

Frederick Sommer Untitled, 1998 Collage on paper. 18 13/16 x 14 3/4 inchesFrederick Sommer Untitled, 1998 Collage on paper. 18 13/16 x 14 3/4 inches

Frederick Sommer
Untitled, 1998
Collage on paper. 18 13/16 x 14 3/4 inches

Frederick Sommer Untitled, 1991 Collage on paper. 17 5/8 x 18 3/16 inchesFrederick Sommer Untitled, 1991 Collage on paper. 17 5/8 x 18 3/16 inches

Frederick Sommer
Untitled, 1991
Collage on paper. 17 5/8 x 18 3/16 inches

Frederick Sommer Idee et Orchidee, 1951 Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed c. 1970-85. 9 7/16 x 7 9/16 inchesFrederick Sommer Idee et Orchidee, 1951 Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed c. 1970-85. 9 7/16 x 7 9/16 inches

Frederick Sommer
Idee et Orchidee, 1951
Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed c. 1970-85. 9 7/16 x 7 9/16 inches

Frederick Sommer Untitled, 1993 Collage on paper. 23 5/8 x 23 11/16 inchesFrederick Sommer Untitled, 1993 Collage on paper. 23 5/8 x 23 11/16 inches

Frederick Sommer
Untitled, 1993
Collage on paper. 23 5/8 x 23 11/16 inches

Frederick Sommer Untitled (Painted Desert), c. 1940 Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed c. 1940. 7 9/16 x 9 7/16 inchesFrederick Sommer Untitled (Painted Desert), c. 1940 Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed c. 1940. 7 9/16 x 9 7/16 inches

Frederick Sommer
Untitled (Painted Desert), c. 1940
Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed c. 1940. 7 9/16 x 9 7/16 inches

Frederick Sommer Glass, 1943 Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed c. 1990. 7 9/16 x 9 5/8 inchesFrederick Sommer Glass, 1943 Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed c. 1990. 7 9/16 x 9 5/8 inches

Frederick Sommer
Glass, 1943
Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed c. 1990. 7 9/16 x 9 5/8 inches

Frederick Sommer Untitled (Painted Desert), c. 1940 Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed c. 1940. 7 9/16 x 9 7/16 inchesFrederick Sommer Untitled (Painted Desert), c. 1940 Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed c. 1940. 7 9/16 x 9 7/16 inches

Frederick Sommer
Untitled (Painted Desert), c. 1940
Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed c. 1940. 7 9/16 x 9 7/16 inches

Press Release

Bruce Silverstein is pleased to announce Circumnavigation, an exhibition of the various media mastered by the artist Frederick Sommer. While well-known throughout his lifetime as an accomplished photographer, Sommer also maintained a lifelong passion for drawing, painting, collage, poetry and prose. This exhibition, comprised exclusively from works held by the Frederick & Frances Sommer Foundation, is the first attempt to represent the complete artistic oeuvre of Sommer in over 50 years, and is organized to expand upon the knowledge and understanding of a truly complex and prolific artist. With artworks selected by Naomi Lyons, Sommer’s assistant from 1985 to 1999 and a trustee of the Foundation, Circumnavigation is an exploration of the interrelationships between the various media utilized by Sommer, and brings to light the evolution of themes, structure, and line developed over time.  

 

Frederick Sommer (1905 –1999) was born in Italy, raised in Rio de Janeiro, and exposed to art and landscape architecture at an early age.  He completed his formal studies at Cornell University, graduating with a Masters of Arts degree in Landscape Architecture. By his early 30s, Sommer began painting with various techniques, drawing in pencil, glue-color (pigment suspended in hide glue), or pen and ink, and photographing in earnest. After viewing a display of original musical scores, he began to formulate his own surrealist theories correlating the graphic design to the sound of musical scores, noting, “One thing I became convinced of, and that has proven to be quite the case: that only the really great composers…are the ones who have good looking scores.” Beginning in 1941, Sommer created his own scores typically rendered through an intuitive “automatic” process initiated in his other works, always in a single session. A handful of these rare scores are included in Circumnavigation.

 

By the mid-1930s, from locations as diverse as New York, Brazil, Italy and Paris, Sommer attended lectures by Le Corbusier, investigated works by Paul Cezanne and Henri Matisse, and met such luminaries as Alfred Stieglitz and Georgia O’Keeffe.  Even after relocating to Prescott, Arizona in February 1935, where he resided for the next 60 years, Sommer was rarely geographically isolated. In 1936, the Sommer's visited Edward Weston, where an 8 x 10 view camera was recommended. In 1940 he visited Charles Sheeler in New York. In 1941, on a trip to California, he met Man Ray, Peggy Guggenheim and most importantly Max Ernst, with whom he began an important friendship.  This was clearly a period of great growth for Sommer, who further drifted toward the pursuit of the avant-garde, and whose work bridged the influences of surrealism and abstract expressionism.


Beginning in 1937, it was clear that Sommer’s works were receiving substantial support and recognition on both the west and east coast—he displayed his drawings, glue-color paintings, watercolors and collages in a solo exhibition at the Howard Putzel Gallery, Los Angeles. In 1941, the Museum of Modern Art began its long track record of support for Sommer’s photographs with an acquisition for Images of Freedom and exhibited Sommer’s work six times between 1946 and 1952 leading to his inclusion in Diogenes with a Camera. In 1949, Sommer showed his drawings and photographs at the Charles Egan Gallery in New York, where the drawings were described by the New York Times as “first-rate design intelligence that is somewhat marred by the suggestion of Dadaist inspiration.” 


In 1957, after numerous exhibitions and further exploration into multiple artistic disciplines, Sommer’s drawings, paintings and photographs were exhibited together at the Institute of Design, Chicago, inexplicably, for the last time. Circumnavigation represents the fullest exploration of Sommer’s creative abilities since this Chicago exhibition, and includes extraordinary collages created during the last ten years of his life.


The improvisational ensemble FFEAR featuring saxophonist Ole Mathisen and trombonist Chris Washburne will interpret the musical scores of Frederick Sommer during the opening on Thursday, February 4th from 6 – 8pm.