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Creator Name: Moholy-Nagy, László
Creator Nationality: North American; American
Creator Role: Artist
Creator Dates/Places: 1895 - 1946
Biography: László Moholy-Nagy American, b. Austria-Hungary, 1895-1946László Moholy-Nagy was an avant-garde painter, photographer, filmmaker, writer, and stage and graphic designer known for his experimental approach. He was also an influential teacher and advocate of the 'new photography,' the international movement that achieved prominence in Europe after World War I.Moholy-Nagy (born in Bácsborsod) studied law at the University of Budapest (1914) and served in the Austro-Hungarian army during the war (1915-17). Wounded, he became interested in art during his convalescence and, although briefly resuming his law studies, decided to pursue a career in the arts. In late 1919 he moved to Vienna, then settled in Berlin, where he became associated with the dadaists andother avant-garde artists. He took part in his first exhibition in 1922 at the Berlin gallery Der Sturm, showing abstract paintings and metal sculpture. That same year he and his wife, Lucia Moholy, began investigating photograms (cameraless photographs)and over the next several years would continue to experiment, producing negative prints, photomontages, photocollages, and photographs taken from a variety of viewpoints and angles.In 1923 Walter Gropius invited Moholy-Nagy to head the metal workshop atthe Bauhaus in Weimar. Moholy-Nagy also taught the school's introductory course and collaborated with his wife and Gropius to edit several volumes in the Bauhausbücher (Bauhaus Books) series. In 1925 he published his influential book Malerei, Photographie, Film (Painting, Photography, Film) and the following year completed his first film, Berliner Stilleben (Berlin Still Life).Moholy-Nagy left the Bauhaus in 1928 following the resignation of Gropius and moved to Berlin to work as a commercial artist, specializing in stage and graphic design, as well as in film. The following year he published Von Material zu Architektur (published in translation as The New Vision: From Material to Architecture, 1930) and helped organize Film und Foto, the well-known exhibition of avant-garde photography and film held in Stuttgart. He also exhibited more than 90 photographs in the show.Following his 1932 divorce and the Nazi rise to power in Germany, Moholy-Nagy immigrated to Amsterdam (1934) and then England (1935). Hewasinvited to Chicago in 1937 to found the New Bauhaus (reorganized as the Chicago School of Design in 1939 and then renamed the Institute of Design in 1944). Moholy-Nagy directed the school until 1946, when he died of leukemia. M.M.
Creator Birth Place: Bácsborsod, Austria-Hungary
Creator Death Place: Chicago, IL
Creator Name-CRT: László Moholy-Nagy
Title Type: Primary
View: Full View
Creation Start Date: 1939
Creation End Date: 1939
Creation Date: 1939
Object Type: Photographs
Classification Term: Photography
Materials and Techniques: gelatin silver print, photogram
Dimensions: Image: 50.6cm x 40.3cm
Inscriptions: Written in pencil on verso: '[upward pointed arrow]'
AMICA Contributor: The Cleveland Museum of Art
Owner Location: Cleveland, Ohio, USA
ID Number: 1992.10
Credit Line: Andrew R. and Martha Holden Jennings Fund
Copyright: ? Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn
Context: One of the 20th century's most original artists, László Moholy-Nagy pursued his innovative vision in almost every medium: painting, sculpture, graphic and industrial design, filmmaking, and photography. In 1922, he began a long-term involvement with cameraless photographs or 'photograms'. These experimental images were derived from his constructivist-influenced painting and graphic work. In this example, Moholy-Nagy intuitively arranged along a diagonal center spine a variety of materials---wire mesh,string, and thin plastic templates with geometric shapes cut our in different sizes. Full of ambiguity, the image functions not only as a document of ordinary items found in an artist's studio, but also as a mysterious dreamscape suggesting infinite timeand space.
AMICA ID: CMA_.1992.10
AMICA Library Year: 1998
Media Metadata Rights:
Copyright, The Cleveland Museum of Art
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