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Maurice Tabard

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Published on Jun 8, 2009

Maurice Tabard was a French photographer ((b Lyon, 12 July 1897; d Nice, 23 Feb 1984). In 1914 he immigrated with his family to the USA, where his father worked in a silk mill. There he studied silk design by day and art, mainly painting, by night until he became interested in photography, which he studied under Emil Brunel at the New York Institute of Photography in 1916. He was impressed by the work of Edward Steichen, among others, and became a friend of his assistant Harvey White. After various menial jobs, he worked as a portrait photographer for Bachrach Studios from 1922 to 1928 in Baltimore, MD, although he also produced several official portraits in Washington, DC, including some of the Coolidge family. In 1927 he also studied portraiture under the painter Carlos Baca-Flor in New York. In 1928 he moved to Paris, intending to work as a fashion photographer, and met Man Ray, who taught him the technique of solarization. He also became a friend of René Magritte and the French Surrealist writer Phillipe Soupault (1897-1990). At this time he began to experiment with multiple exposures, foreshortening, photomontage and other techniques, producing highly complex images such as Untitled (1929; Paris, Lucien Treillard priv. col., see 1985 exh. cat., p. 234).

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