In 1931, Theodore Brauner joins the Surrealist group Alge in Bucharest. In 1934, he makes his first photographs without camera. He calls these works Solarfixes (they are not photograms, as he eliminates not only the camera, but also the darkroom.) Brauner leaves Romania in 1942 and arrives to Israel in 1944. His Solarfixes are exhibited for the first, and the last, time in Jerusalem (1955). These artworks on light sensitive paper, he considers his most important achievement, though his accomplishments in photography proper also make him one of the great practitioners of the art.

PARALLEL ALCHEMY (a short autobiography)

It is essential to achieve (my things.) Self-thought as a photographer, even before I become one, I was literally haunted by a black-and-white imprint in my inner vision: an immense, all-engulfing wave, only made permanent when I got my first camera. My work, in four phases. 1st phase: routine work; reporter, ads, portraits, etc. 2nd phase: a very personal preparation of negatives over sheets of paper of different transparencies, then interference through the intermediary materials (rubbing or grating a candle, or a pencil, etc.) causing mutations among them. The result pulls me into an irresistible adventure. 3rd phase: elimination of the enlarger; direct work on sensitive paper: the revelation of the progress of my primary quest. 4th phase: to start with, I expose light sensitive paper to direct sunlight, fully contradicting all existing and accepted methods. I find myself unimpeded by rules, free and independent. I impose my own set of rules. My white is latent black, my rainbow goes from infra-white to ultra-black. The revelation is seized just as the paper, soaked in the usual liquids (fixative, developer) turns into light or a transparency in the color of flames or ashes. My work evolves during a period of fifty years and is presented under the title: Solarfixes.


Theodore Brauner

(1914-2000 )

ARTISTS               EXHIBITIONS                PUBLICATIONS               CONTACT