Art Term

Photogram

A photogram is a photographic print made by laying objects onto photographic paper and exposing it to light

György Kepes, ‘Hand on Black Ground’ c.1939–40
György Kepes
Hand on Black Ground c.1939–40
Tate
© estate of György Kepes

The technique of creating photographic prints without using a camera (photograms) is as old as photography itself – but emerged again in various avant-garde contexts in the early 1920s.

Artist Man Ray refined and personalised the technique to such an extent that the new prints eventually carried his name ‘rayographs’.

related terms and concepts

Art Term

Rayograph

Photographic prints made by laying objects onto photographic paper and exposing it to light

Art Term

Photography

Photography refers to the process or practice of creating a photograph – an image produced by the action of light ...

Art Term

Avant-garde

As applied to art, avant-garde means art that is innovatory, introducing or exploring new forms or subject matter

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Tate Etc

Out of the light, into the shadows

The photogram is an image made without a camera by placing an object directly on to the surface of a ...

Tate Etc

Vaporous fantasies

Before he became famous for his protean work, Robert Rauschenberg was making little-known but beautiful cameraless photograms with his then ...

Tate Etc

Carved with light

We know her best through her sculptures, but one of the many outcomes of Barbara Hepworth's friendship with László ...

selected artists in the collection

selected artworks in the collection

photogram at tate

Tate Modern Exhibition

The Radical Eye: Modernist Photography from the Sir Elton John Collection

10 Nov 2016 – 21 May 2017

Elton John’s unrivalled modernist photography collection comes to Tate Modern

Tate Britain Exhibition

Barbara Hepworth: Sculpture for a Modern World

24 Jun – 25 Oct 2015

Book now to see Barbara Hepworth, one of the leading sculptors of the 20th century. This retrospective of one of ...

FREE
Tate Modern Exhibition

Albers and Moholy-Nagy: from the Bauhaus to the New World

9 Mar – 4 Jun 2006
Albers and Moholy-Nagy: from the Bauhaus to the New World pas exhibition at Tate Modern
FREE