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.
Frederick Sommer, Untitled, 1991, © Frederick and
Frances Sommer Foundation, Courtesy Bruce Silverstein Gallery, NY
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.