Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
Request to view at the Prints & Drawings Study Room, level F , Case FR, Shelf 3

Chemigram 15/9/91 ‘from La Suma of Jorge Luis Borges’

Photographs
1991 (made)
Artist/Maker

Pierre Cordier, born in Brussels, invented the chemigram in 1956 and has pioneered its artistic development ever since. Working like a painter, Cordier replaces the canvas with photographic paper. Changes in shape and pattern are created both deliberately and randomly by introducing scratched marks, varnish, wax, oil, glue, syrup, egg and other materials. Physical reactions of these layers, often made after repeatedly dipping the paper in developer and fixer, are registered on the photosensitive emulsion. The chemigram is a camera-less technique, but it is not a photograph nor a photogram since it does not rely solely on light to produce the image. Nor can it be described as a print, since negatives or printing plates are not involved and the result is unique. In Cordier’s work, the process itself becomes the artwork.
read Cameraless photography Cameraless techniques have been exploited and reinterpreted by successive generations of image makers and continue to be used by contemporary artists today. While related to the conventional practices of photography, cameraless images offer an alternative, experimental, radical and often r...
object details
Category
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Chemigram
Brief Description
Chemigram by Pierre Cordier, 'Chemigram 15/9/91 ‘from La Suma of Jorge Luis Borges’', 1991
Physical Description
Triangular shaped chemigram with a brown border. The central section of the work consists of intricate patterns and shapes made of up brown, beige and grey colours
Dimensions
  • Height: 62cm
  • Width: 70cm
Credit line
Gift of Pierre Cordier
Summary
Pierre Cordier, born in Brussels, invented the chemigram in 1956 and has pioneered its artistic development ever since. Working like a painter, Cordier replaces the canvas with photographic paper. Changes in shape and pattern are created both deliberately and randomly by introducing scratched marks, varnish, wax, oil, glue, syrup, egg and other materials. Physical reactions of these layers, often made after repeatedly dipping the paper in developer and fixer, are registered on the photosensitive emulsion. The chemigram is a camera-less technique, but it is not a photograph nor a photogram since it does not rely solely on light to produce the image. Nor can it be described as a print, since negatives or printing plates are not involved and the result is unique. In Cordier’s work, the process itself becomes the artwork.
Collection
Accession Number
E.330-2018

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record createdJune 6, 2018
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