Art Term

Rayograph

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

Robert Rauschenberg Untitled
György Kepes, ‘Compass and Strainer Photogram’ n.d
György Kepes
Compass and Strainer Photogram n.d
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’.