A true pioneer of photographic art, inspired by the camera-less photography of Làszló Moholy-Nagy and by Man Ray’s Surrealist photograms, Floris Neusüss has dedicated his whole career to the practice, study and teaching of the photogram, exploring its technical and visual possibilities and pushing the boundaries of the medium.
Photograms are created by the placement of objects or in Floris’s case, human bodies, on light-sensitive paper or film, and once exposed to light, the shape of the object is revealed, resulting in a ghostly silhouetted negative image. Neusüss will then occasionally wipe a brush, sponge, or rag dipped into developer or fixer solution across the surface of the paper to produce controlled, painterly gestures. Sometimes he does not fix his prints, allowing the works to constantly change over the years and the photographic process to continue beyond the darkroom.
Amongst Neusüss’s best known works are his “Körperfotogramms” (also known as “Nudogramms”), lifesize silhouettes of nude bodies exposed on photographic paper in a variety of expressive poses. Often suggesting rapid motion, the figures are caught in space and in an ethereal dream-like state. Neusüss comments: “In the photogram...man is not depicted, but the picture of him comes into being by an act of imagination”. He worked on this series throughout the 1960s and early 1970s, initially using standard silver bromide paper to show white figures on a black background and later using auto-reversal paper to make black figures on white backgrounds.
© Floris Neusüss, courtesy of ATLAS Gallery, London.