Photogram IV thumbnail 1
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 X, Shelf 975, Box B

Photogram IV

Photograph
1922 (made), ca. 1930 (printed)
Artist/Maker

Photograms are photographs made without a camera or lens. They are made by placing objects on top of a piece of photographic paper and then exposing the composition to light. Although this is a simple technique, as old as photography itself, Moholy-Nagy revived it and applied it to modern forms of abstraction in art and graphic design. In 1932 he wrote, 'The photogram,… which embodies the unique nature of the photographic process, is the real key to photography. It allows us to capture the patterned interplay of light on a sheet of sensitised paper without recourse to any apparatus.'
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
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Gelatin silver print
Brief Description
Moholy-Nagy, Laszlo. Photogram IV [sic] 1922. Gelatin-silver print made about 1930.
Physical Description
Abstract black and white photograph of coils and lines
Dimensions
  • Height: 39.5cm
  • Width: 30cm
Gallery Label
Cameraless Photography László Moholy-Nagy (1895–1946) Photogram IV 1925–28, printed 1929 Gelatin silver print 39.5 x 30 cm Museum no. E.801-1997 Moholy-Nagy began making cameraless photographs in 1922 and coined the term ‘photogram’ in 1925. He and saw it as the artistic equivalent of the X-ray. In 1937, he wrote, ‘The photogram which embodies the unique nature of the photographic process, is the real key to photography. It allows us to capture the patterned interplay of light on a sheet of sensitised paper without the recourse to any apparatus.’
Credit line
Copyright L. Moholy-Nagy Foundation
Summary
Photograms are photographs made without a camera or lens. They are made by placing objects on top of a piece of photographic paper and then exposing the composition to light. Although this is a simple technique, as old as photography itself, Moholy-Nagy revived it and applied it to modern forms of abstraction in art and graphic design. In 1932 he wrote, 'The photogram,… which embodies the unique nature of the photographic process, is the real key to photography. It allows us to capture the patterned interplay of light on a sheet of sensitised paper without recourse to any apparatus.'
Bibliographic References
  • Kate Best and Sophie Leighton, 'Interwar Photography at the V&A: Modernism and More' in Apollo May 2006
  • Stephen Bury, ed. Breaking the Rules. The Printed Face of the European Avant Garde 1900-1937 London: The British Library, 2007. ISBN: 978 0 7123 0980 6.
Collection
Accession Number
E.801-1997

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record createdFebruary 27, 2004
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