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Hito Steyerl: How To Build a Sustainable Art World Ocula Conversation Hito Steyerl: How To Build a Sustainable Art World

'A Picture of War is Not War', we read in Hito Steyerl's iconic film November (2004), an essayistic Super 8 film tackling the definition of terrorism constructed around the figure of the artist's best friend Andrea Wolf, who was killed as a terrorist in 1998 in Eastern Anatolia after she joined the PKK (Kurdistan Workers' Party). Mixing documentary...

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Aichi to Okayama: Art in Japan Looks to the Future Ocula Report Aichi to Okayama: Art in Japan Looks to the Future 11 Oct 2019 : Stephanie Bailey for Ocula

There has been a flurry of triennial and biennial art activity in Japan this year. The Aichi Triennale opened in Nagoya this August, sparking a national debate about the shutting down of a display of formerly censored works—the result of public backlash against a burnt image of Emperor Hirohito and a statue commemorating the women forced into...

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Hans Hartung and Art Informel: Exhibition Walkthrough Ocula Insight | Video
Sponsored Content | Mazzoleni Gallery
Hans Hartung and Art Informel: Exhibition Walkthrough 15 October 2019

Hans Hartung and Art Informel at Mazzoleni London (1 October 2019-18 January 2020) presents key works by the French-German painter while highlighting his connection with artists active in Paris during the 50s and 60s. In this video, writer and historian Alan Montgomery discusses Hartung's practice and its legacy.Born in Leipzig in 1904, Hans...

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Frederick Sommer

(1905 - 1999), Brazil

Bruce Silverstein Gallery is the exclusive representative of the Frederick & Frances Sommer Foundation

Frederick Sommer was an artistic polymath, with deep interests in painting, drawing, photography, sculpture and collage. With his work he intended to engage the world formally, to harvest its chance gifts, de-contextualizing and rearranging found images and objects according to often shocking visual affinities. The artist played with a wide variety of forms, textures and scale to create startling compositions amid objects and sites others found too insignificant to notice. Sommer was intent on expanding the limits of where beauty could be found, and after viewing a display of original musical scores, he began to formulate his own theories correlating the graphic design to the sound of musical scores. 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 Surrealism.

Born in 1905 in Angri, Italy, Sommer was raised in Rio de Janeiro, and exposed to art and landscape architecture at an early age. He completed his studies at Cornell University, graduating with a Masters of Arts degree in Landscape Architecture. By his early 30s, Sommer took a trip to Switzerland for health reasons and began his explorations in multiple artistic disciplines. In 1974 Sommer received the prestigious John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship. He died in 1999 at the age of 93 in Prescott, Arizona where he and his wife Frances Sommer had lived since 1936. His legacy lives on at the Frederick and Frances Sommer Foundation. Since 2010, Bruce Silverstein has organized two major retrospectives of his work.

His works have been exhibited by the world's most important institutions, including the George Eastman House, Rochester; J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles; Delaware Art Museum; Serpentine Gallery, London; Charles Egan Gallery, New York; Philadelphia College of Art; Washington Gallery of Modern Art, Washington D.C.; Pasadena Art Museum, California; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Institute of Design, Chicago; Zimmergalerie Franck, Germany; and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

Work by the artist is represented in major museum collections internationally such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Smithsonian Institution, Washington D.C.; Art Institute of Chicago; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.; Maison Europeene de la Photographie; George Eastman House, Rochester; and the Victoria and Albert Museum, London.

Sommer's work has been published widely. Noteworthy publications include Frederick Sommer: Photography, Drawing, Collage (2005), The Mistress of the World Has No Name: Where Images Come From (1987), Frederick Sommer at Seventy Five, a Retrospective (1980), and Venus, Jupiter and Mars: The Photographs of Frederick Sommer (1980).

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Featured Artworks

View All (10)
Cut Paper by Frederick Sommer contemporary artwork
Frederick SommerCut Paper, 1967 Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed c. 1967–1975
13 x 10.5 inches
Bruce Silverstein
Untitled by Frederick Sommer contemporary artwork
Frederick SommerUntitled, c. 1950s Glue drawing on paper
12 x 18.5 inches
Bruce Silverstein
Untitled by Frederick Sommer contemporary artwork
Frederick SommerUntitled, 1993 Collage on paper
19 x 23 inches
Bruce Silverstein
Untitled by Frederick Sommer contemporary artwork
Frederick SommerUntitled, 1991 Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed c. 1990s
7 x 9 cm
Bruce Silverstein
Untitled by Frederick Sommer contemporary artwork
Frederick SommerUntitled, 1991 Collage on film box
14.5 x 11.25 inches
Bruce Silverstein
Untitled by Frederick Sommer contemporary artwork
Frederick SommerUntitled, c. 1950 Glue colour drawing on paper
12 x 18.5 cm
Bruce Silverstein
Untitled by Frederick Sommer contemporary artwork
Frederick SommerUntitled, c. 1947–1952 Glue colour print on paper
12 x 18.5 inches
Bruce Silverstein
Durer Variation by Frederick Sommer contemporary artwork
Frederick SommerDurer Variation, 1966 Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed c. 1990s
9.5 x 7.5 inches
Bruce Silverstein

Recent Exhibitions

Contemporary art exhibition, Group Exhibition, Drawing the Line at Bruce Silverstein, New York
Closed
11 July–30 August 2019 Group Exhibition Drawing the Line Bruce Silverstein, New York

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