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

  • Robert Rauschenberg Untitled

    Robert Rauschenberg
    Untitled 1951
    182.8 x 121.9 cm

    © Time & Life Images/Getty Images

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’.

Out of the light, into the shadows
Why are photograms, and other cameraless photographic techniques, currently proliferate in contemporary art? Our Tate Etc. essay explores this question.