Frederick Sommer experimented extensively with man-made negatives. In one series he made negatives out of paint applied to cellophane, which he would manipulate and peel as it dried. In Paracelsus, those liquid gestures make up the silhouette of a woman’s torso. Sommer named this work after an influential sixteenth-century physician. Considered the father of modern psychology for his early recognition of the unconscious, Paracelsus was a figure of great fascination to the surrealists, who translated and published his writings in their journals.
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