Claude Tolmer, ‘Photogram’, ca. 1930, Galerie Julian Sander

About Claude Tolmer

Claude Tolmer trained as a painter and worked as a commercial artist at his family’s renowned publishing house, Maison Tolmer, but expressed his truest avant-garde vision in pursuit of the medium he loved best: photography. He was enamored of the way the camera could frame the world and of the possibilities for experimentation inherent in the myriad of photographic and printing processes with which he worked, including photograms, gelatin silver prints, photomontage, composite printing, and cliché-verre, a combination of painting or drawing with photography. “Photography gives concrete form to the subtlest thoughts,” he wrote. “It has the gift of imparting to the dullest, most mechanical and impersonal things the sensitiveness and poetry which admits them into our dreams.” True to his statement, Tolmer made the most commonplace of objects and views extraordinary, through sharp, unexpected angles and surrealistic, poetic juxtapositions.

French, 1922-1991

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