Three Graces

Object Details

Title:

Three Graces

Artist/Maker(s):

Frederick Sommer (American, born Italy, 1905 - 1999)

Culture:

American

Date:

1985

Medium:

Gelatin silver print

Dimensions:

24.3 x 19.4 cm (9 9/16 x 7 5/8 in.)

Copyright:

© Frederick and Frances Sommer Foundation

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Starting in the 1960s, Frederick Sommer produced a series of paper "sculptures" that he then photographed. He cut sheets of butcher-block paper using a razor blade, transforming them into abstract patterns. But these incisions were anything but random; his creations were often inspired by images he found in the hundreds of books he kept on shelves in his workshop. Hanging his paper creations from clips a few feet in front of a wall, he carefully lit them--the shapes, light, and shadow providing a sense of depth and kinetic energy.

The inspiration for this piece is the legend of the Three Graces, fertility goddesses from Greek mythology. Light penetrates the slits, suggesting three bodies dancing together. The composition is less about extremes of light and dark, and more about midtones--the subtle differences in grays contained in the spectrum between white and black.

Provenance
1994 -

Frederick Sommer Prescott, AZ, USA, American, born Italy, 1905 - 1999

Exhibitions
The Photographs of Frederick Sommer: A Centennial Tribute (May 10 to September 4, 2005)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), May 10 to September 4, 2005