(b Angri, Sept 7, 1905; d Prescott, AZ, Jan 23, 1999).
American photographer, painter, and theorist of Italian birth. After studying landscape architecture with his father Carlos Sommer in Brazil (1916–25) and at Cornell University (MA 1927), he worked as a landscape architect in Brazil until 1930. While in Switzerland convalescing after tuberculosis in 1930, he became interested in modern art and acquired his first camera. He moved to Tucson, AZ, in 1931 and settled in Prescott, AZ, in 1935. He held his first exhibition, of watercolours, in Chicago in 1934 and discovered the graphic aspect of musical scores. His interest in photography was increased after seeing prints by Edward Weston in 1936. He bought a large-format camera in 1938 and held his first one-man show as a photographer in 1946 (Santa Barbara, CA, Mus. A.). His links with European art were strengthened by his friendship with Max Ernst, whom he met in 1941.
In his work of ...