Of picturesque Greece which appeals to the artistic and intellectual class in Paris Eli Lotar photographs an urchin in the palm of sculptor Tombros’s hand. The detail says it all: it smells of iodine, hot sand, fig trees. By looking at it one can hear the cicadas. The shadows of Roger Vitrac and Jean-Bernard Brunius filming avant-garde documentary Voyage aux Cyclades are not far. This is 1931, before the invasion of the Greek islands by mass tourism.

Eli Lotar, Sans Titre, 1931
Eli Lotar, Sans Titre, 1931

Eli Lotar’s vivid and quirky shots (1905 – 1969) tell their time through the artist’s meticulous choice of fragments. His surrealistic collages give a unique perspective on Antonin Artaud’s Alfred Harry theatre. Lotar captures the creative intimacy of Giacometti at work in the very tiny space of his room at Hôtel de Genève. Giacometti sculpts Lotar’s chest, which the latter shoots in series, almost compulsively, resulting in a sublime contact sheet that seems to have fallen off the creator’s diary.

Eli Lotar, Atelier Giacometti, 1965 © Araso
Eli Lotar, Atelier Giacometti, 1965 © Araso

A beautiful tribute to the anti-pomposity of Eli Lotar’s « New Vision ».


Eli Lotar (1905 – 1969) is an exhibition of the 40th anniversary of Centre Pompidou, coproduced by Centre Pompidou and Jeu de Paume.

At the Musée du Jeu de Paume – Jeu de Paume Museum until May 28th 2017.

Cover image © Araso

Sans titre, Untitled, 1931 © Eli Lotar