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Frederick Sommer at Bruce Silverstein

Posted By Administration, Sunday, March 14, 2010
Updated: Thursday, December 19, 2013
DATE: March 14, 2010

Best known as a photographer, Sommer (1905-99) never restricted himself to one medium, and this sprawling, museum-quality survey shows how closely his photography, drawing, painting, and collage work were linked.


Image
Frederick Sommer, Untitled, 1991, © Frederick and
Frances Sommer Foundation, Courtesy Bruce Silverstein Gallery, NY
 
The photographs cover a lot of ground: desert landscapes, portraits, and nudes, pictures of cut-paper constructions, found-object assemblages, and Dubuffet-style abstractions conjured from smoke on glass or paint on cellophane. Hung alongside spidery drawings or more fluid, densely worked paintings, a wall of these images could spark enough energy to power the gallery. Collages of anatomical etchings underline the physicality and continue Sommer's focus on decay and mortality.

From The New Yorker.

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