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A work made of gelatin silver print.

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  • A work made of gelatin silver print.


c. 1930


Eli Lotar
French, 1905–1969

About this artwork

Eli Lotar worked in Paris between the two world wars and is best known for his experimental films and uncanny photographic contributions to the Surrealist publication “Documents.” In this image, however, Lotar delivered a gentle abstraction: perhaps shot during a pause in a circus routine, the image freezes a swinging rope ladder, creating a geometric contrast with the tent’s luminous canvas panels. In February 1932, New York collector and gallery owner Julien Levy, who is commonly credited with introducing Surrealism to an American audience, included Lotar’s work in an influential exhibition titled “Modern European Photography.”


Currently Off View


Photography and Media


Eli Lotar




France (Artist's nationality:)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.

Made 1925–1935


Gelatin silver print


Unmarked recto; stamped verso, upper right, in black ink: "JULIEN LEVY GALLERY, INC. / 15 EAST 57th STREET / NEW YORK CITY"; verso, center, in black ink: "Photo ELI LOTAR"; inscribed verso, lower left, in graphite: "[illegible] / #5"; verso, lower center, in graphite: "1" [encircled]


Image/paper: 10.7 × 14.3 cm (4 1/4 × 5 11/16 in.)

Credit Line

Julien Levy Collection, Gift of Jean Levy and the Estate of Julien Levy

Reference Number


Extended information about this artwork

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