Frederick Sommer

The Constellations That Surround Us

The Conjunction of General Aesthetics & Poetic Logic in an Artist's Life

Surveyed & Edited by Michael Torosian


Frederick Sommer is one of the most important, yet enigmatic, figures in photography. The breadth and ingenuity of his work is such that it cannot be easily reconciled within the history of the medium. The key to Sommer’s work lies in an understanding of his concept of “general aesthetics”, a perspective developed from his recognition and appreciation of a universe of interconnections.

The Constellations That Surround Us is a unique window into Sommer’s personal history and thoughts. Interviewed at his home in Prescott, Arizona, by Michael Torosian, the text presents Sommer’s reflections on the formative episodes of his life and the philosophy they engendered. Esoteric concepts and pragmatic considerations are addressed with unprecedented candor as Sommer relates the path of his life and the discoveries he has made.


Composed in Intertype Weiss and hand printed on Mohawk Superfine. The book is illustrated with four tipped-in gelatin-silver prints: a rare portrait of Sommer by Edward Weston, and three diverse images by Sommer. Quarter bound in natural linen and paper over boards in the uniform style of the series. Thirty-six pages, 6 x 9 inches. Edition 200. May 1992. Homage Volume VI.


Out of print.