The subjects of Sommer’s photographs are strikingly diverse. They range from disorienting landscapes and macabre aspects of the natural world to surreal arrangements of found objects and pure abstractions. Yet there is also a distinct vision that connects all his works. Sommer’s photographs show an abiding interest in form and a consistently startling approach to composition, texture, and scale. His writings reference the hidden structure that he saw all around him, the beauty of which he sought to reveal in his images. “As artists we are custodians of order,” Sommer wrote, “and in ordering a collection we also learn what it is.”
… art is images you carry. You cannot carry nature with you, but you carry images of nature. When you go out to make a picture you find you are moved by something which is in agreement with an image you already held within yourself.
– Frederick Sommer