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The Art of Frederick Sommer: Photography, Drawing, Collage

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The Art of Frederick Sommer: Photography, Drawing, Collage Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

This stunning book—published in the artists 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 Sommers 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 artists achievement as a twentieth-century visionary. The book is a revelation for scholars, artists, students, and everyone who admires and appreciates creative genius.

Review:

"The art of Frederick Sommer isn't about beauty, technique or influence; it is, Davis writes in his curatorial essay, about 'understanding... everything.' This new survey of the former landscape architect's drawings, collage and photography goes a long way toward illustrating Davis's claim. Sommer emerges here as an insatiable synthesizer who saved, for example, a piece of molten metal he discovered in the 1940s until he could collage it with the ideal background in 1966. The photograph produced from this collage, Davis explains, uncannily evokes the composition of a drawing by Leonardo da Vinci. To help readers understand the impulses driving Sommer, Davis's essay lingers on the surrealist technique of 'skipreading' whereby one 'reinterprets important texts by rapidly scanning the page to form a new, poetic narrative from intuitively chosen words and phrases.' Sommer used this technique to produce wonderfully aphoristic texts, some of which are interspersed, to great effect, throughout this catalog of images. Davis sets out to demonstrate that the whole of Sommer's work and, by extension, his life was a grand act of skipreading. It's an exciting, if not heroic, take on Sommer's process, suggesting that the nearly two decades that elapsed between finding the molten metal and its complimentary background, for example, collectively formed the 'important text' from which Sommer would intuitively choose detritus to recombine into startling images. The book's sequencing of images wholly succeeds in creating a powerful contemplative experience, and the enticing arguments Davis offers in his introductory remarks incite a hunger for fresh, detailed scholarship about each of Sommer's works." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Book News Annotation:

Celebrating the centennial of the artist's birth, this volume's large format (11.5x13") beautifully showcases a retrospective of extraordinary works by Eric Sommer (1905-1999). The book contains 28 duotone, 133 tritone, and 52 color reproductions, along with an essay (by art historian Keith F. Davis of Hallmark Fine Art Programs), an interview (by Michael Torosian, proprietor of Lumiere Press), and a chronology (by art and photography historian April M. Watson). Quotes and excerpts from the artist's writings are interspersed among the full-page images. Produced by Yale U. Press in association with the Frederick and Frances Sommer Foundation in Prescott, Arizona.
Annotation 2006 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Book News Annotation:

Celebrating the centennial of the artist's birth, this volume's large format (11.5x13") beautifully showcases a retrospective of extraordinary works by Eric Sommer (1905-1999). The book contains 28 duotone, 133 tritone, and 52 color reproductions, along with an essay (by art historian Keith F. Davis of Hallmark Fine Art Programs), an interview (by Michael Torosian, proprietor of Lumiere Press), and a chronology (by art and photography historian April M. Watson). Quotes and excerpts from the artist's writings are interspersed among the full-page images. Produced by Yale U. Press in association with the Frederick and Frances Sommer Foundation in Prescott, Arizona. Annotation ©2006 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Synopsis:

"In total acceptance, almost everything becomes a revelation."--Frederick Sommer

Synopsis:

This stunning book chronicles the life and work of twentieth-century visionary Frederick Sommer. Among the great masters of art photography, Sommer employed an array of innovative methodologies and techniques to create complex and unconventional images. More than 200 exquisite reproductions of his works affirm the extent of his extraordinary achievement.

About 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.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780300107838
Contribution:
Torosian, Michael
Publisher:
Yale University Press
Contribution:
Torosian, Michael
Author:
Davis, Keith F.
Author:
Watson, April
Author:
Torosian, Michael
Author:
Davis, Keith
Author:
Watson, April M.
Author:
Sommer, Frederick
Subject:
General
Subject:
Individual Artist
Subject:
Individual Photographer
Subject:
Art, american
Subject:
Photography, Artistic
Subject:
Collections, Catalogs, Exhibitions
Subject:
General Art
Subject:
Individual Artists - General
Subject:
Individual Photographers - General
Subject:
Collections, Catalogs, Exhibitions - General
Subject:
Art, American -- 20th century.
Subject:
Art - Artists
Edition Description:
Trade Cloth
Publication Date:
20050531
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Language:
English
Illustrations:
133 tritones + 28 duotones + 52 color il
Pages:
252
Dimensions:
12.75 x 11.25 in 5.3 lb

Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Art » Artists
Arts and Entertainment » Photography » Annuals
Arts and Entertainment » Photography » General
Arts and Entertainment » Photography » Photographers
History and Social Science » Politics » General

The Art of Frederick Sommer: Photography, Drawing, Collage New Hardcover
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Product details 252 pages Yale University Press - English 9780300107838 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "The art of Frederick Sommer isn't about beauty, technique or influence; it is, Davis writes in his curatorial essay, about 'understanding... everything.' This new survey of the former landscape architect's drawings, collage and photography goes a long way toward illustrating Davis's claim. Sommer emerges here as an insatiable synthesizer who saved, for example, a piece of molten metal he discovered in the 1940s until he could collage it with the ideal background in 1966. The photograph produced from this collage, Davis explains, uncannily evokes the composition of a drawing by Leonardo da Vinci. To help readers understand the impulses driving Sommer, Davis's essay lingers on the surrealist technique of 'skipreading' whereby one 'reinterprets important texts by rapidly scanning the page to form a new, poetic narrative from intuitively chosen words and phrases.' Sommer used this technique to produce wonderfully aphoristic texts, some of which are interspersed, to great effect, throughout this catalog of images. Davis sets out to demonstrate that the whole of Sommer's work and, by extension, his life was a grand act of skipreading. It's an exciting, if not heroic, take on Sommer's process, suggesting that the nearly two decades that elapsed between finding the molten metal and its complimentary background, for example, collectively formed the 'important text' from which Sommer would intuitively choose detritus to recombine into startling images. The book's sequencing of images wholly succeeds in creating a powerful contemplative experience, and the enticing arguments Davis offers in his introductory remarks incite a hunger for fresh, detailed scholarship about each of Sommer's works." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Synopsis" by ,
"In total acceptance, almost everything becomes a revelation."--Frederick Sommer

"Synopsis" by , This stunning book chronicles the life and work of twentieth-century visionary Frederick Sommer. Among the great masters of art photography, Sommer employed an array of innovative methodologies and techniques to create complex and unconventional images. More than 200 exquisite reproductions of his works affirm the extent of his extraordinary achievement.

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