Eli Lotar’s photography and cinematography, leveraged by his relationships, reflect his politics and time

Eli Lotar’s photography and cinematography, leveraged by his relationships, reflect his politics and time

Eli Lotar (1905-1969), a French photographer who was born and grew up in Romania, had a wide connection. He was an apprentice to renowned modernist photographer Germaine Krull and later became associated with the surrealists of his time. He also forged collaborations with artists of different media, including avant-garde writers Jacques Prévert and Georges Bataille, thespian greats Antonin Artaud and Roger Vitrac, and, as he became enamored with cinema, filmmakers Joris Ivens and Luis Buñuel.

The common thread running through all these relationships is Lotar’s involvement in the socio-political movements that sought to address the strife that had become characteristic of the early 1900s. Lotar, who became a French citizen in 1926, two years after moving from Romania, was responsive to the troubles of the times, and his photography revealed his affinity.

A retrospective of Lotar’s work is on at Jeu de Paume in Paris. It will run until May 28.

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