The photogram represents a unique art form requiring only the action of light on a photosensitive substrate. A photogram is made without a camera by placing objects directly onto the surface of a light-sensitive material such as photographic paper and then exposing it to light.
The history of photography is punctuated by practitioners who have developed a technique or style that has become a part of art history. The first period of “photogram” exploration was to gain scientific record of natural objects. The second period was a rediscovery of the artistic potential as illustrated by Christian Schad, Man Ray and Lazlo Moholy-Nagy in the Dada, Surrealist and Constructivist periods of art, respectively.
Man Ray, Glass Tears, 1932, photogram
More recently, photogramists have utilized the photogram as a means of artistic expression to produce a wide variety of designs and surreal imagery.
This imagery is being created using traditional silver-gelatin black and white materials and other photosensitive media including cyanotype that are now considered alternative methods. Others are using both negative and positive acting color photographic materials to create ‘photograms’.