Frederick Sommer, ‘Untitled’, c. 1950-1955, Bruce Silverstein Gallery

About Frederick Sommer

Frederick Sommer had deep interests in a variety of artistic disciplines, including painting, drawing, photography, sculpture, and collage. Alongside many great artists of the period, including Edward Weston, Max Ernst, Man Ray, and Aaron Siskind, Sommer created a unique and avant-garde body of work formulated from his interest in art history and an awareness of Surrealism. The uniting feature of all of Sommer’s images is his openness to the viewer’s interpretation of formal relationships and pictorial structure, through which he sought to challenge the “logic of nature and mind.” For Sommer, the act of drawing addressed the most fundamental problems of perception and representation, and as with his photographs and paintings, he sought to transform, unfold, and expand potential meanings of objects and forms. Sommer explored the boundaries of abstraction and representation, as well as challenged himself through formal exercises in color relationship, line, and compositional space. He noted, “Learning re-orients life and activity. I improved over the years by not doing the same thing every day. If I saw something interesting, I would study it; I like the help of many things.”

— Submitted by Bruce Silverstein Gallery

1905-1999