Sun series

Claus Stolz

Claus Stolz, SUN #262, 2016, pigment prints in various formats and editions

Photographic prints, varying sizes

Germany 1995–ongoing


Stolz describes his Sun pictures as “heliographs,” the name for photography coined by founding father, Nicéphore Niépce, in the early 1800s. As works of concrete photography, they do just that: each picture being a record of a particular impression made by the sun’s light, concentrated through a Fresnel lens, on an acetate film sheet. As such, Stolz also calls these works “sunburns.” Discussion of this ongoing body of work generally emphasizes the role of the sun – its status as both subject and active agent. This destabilizes questions of technology, materiality, process and location. Considering the work from the point of view of the “apparatus” invites us to place these factors on an equal footing. Utilizing a photographic dispositif that is simultaneously stripped-back and expansive, Stolz sets the terrestrial against the solar, and, in turn, his own interventions against the environment. The Sun pictures are abstract documents as much as they are concrete documents, for while the record of their formative elements is rendered directly, it is also non-identical: we cannot recoup the original lens-to-acetate set-up or the ambient conditions. In a sense, a cosmic encounter has been scaled-down (Fisher 2016). (Barnaby Dicker)


Claus Stolz, born 1963 in Mannheim, lives and works in Mannheim, Germany.



Gunther Dietrich and Tomás Rodríguez (eds.), Concrete Photography/Generative Photography (Berlin: Photo Edition Berlin, 2016).

Andrew Fisher, “On the Scales of Photographic Abstraction,” Photographies, vol. 9, no. 2 (2016), pp. 203–215.

Gottfried Jäger, “Was ist Konkrete Fotografie?/What is Concrete Photography?,” European Photography, no. 77 (2005), p. 312,

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