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Frederick Sommer 
Arizona Landscape 
Gelatin silver print 
7 5/8 x 9 9/16 ins 
Frederick & Frances Sommer Foundation 
© Frederick and Frances Sommer Foundation 
"For years I looked at the Arizona landscape and it seemed almost a hopeless task. . . . There wasn't anything worth featuring, nothing worth making a to-do about. All those plants were dry and dead and dying. And, if they weren't, you could take them as a whole, in their totality. . . . What was the difference between the top of the picture and the bottom of it? It was all the same. But there was a difference. The only thing is that it was more subtle . . . there's a great deal going on. Maybe this helped me to realize that I was looking at details. These were enormous areas, but still there were no details. . . . There's nothing happening in the sky and I decided, 'No skies for me.' Finally there was no foreground, there was no middle distance, there was nothing. And there was very little distinction between the plants and the rocks. Even the rocks were struggling."
Frederick Sommer, "Extemporaneous Talk," Aperture (1971), unp., cited in Leland Rice, "Introduction," in Frederick Sommer at Seventy-Five: A Retrospective (Long Beach: The Art Museum and Galleries, California State University, 1980), 13. 

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