The exhibition will be at LACMA through June 18, 2017.
Photos by Karen Ostlund
|Co-organized by LACMA, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, and the Art Institute of Chicago.|
Co-organized by LACMA, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, and the Art Institute of Chicago, the exhibition has already visited the other venues in the last year before moving to Los Angeles for its only West Coast appearance. Michael Govan, LACMA’s CEO and Wallis Annenberg Director, pointed out that the exhibit looked different in and was reinvented for each venue.
|Early years: Radio and Railway Landscapes 1920|
|Moholy-Nagy's work in advertisment in mens clothing 1932|
“Moholy’s goal throughout his life was to integrate art, technology, and education for the betterment of humanity; he believed art should serve a public purpose,” said Carol S. Eliel, the exhibition curator from LACMA. “These goals defined the artist’s utopian vision, a vision that remained as constant as his fascination with light, throughout the many material changes in his oeuvre.
|Photo-montages by Moholy-Nagy|
The exhibit changes from room to room reflect how Moholy-Nagy’s interest in one art form. Visitors move along with the artist’s career, from his earliest days in Hungary to the Bauhaus in Germany (1923–28), other work in Europe, and final years in Chicago (1937–46).
A lot of Moholy-Nagy advertising pieces, graphics designs, and photomontages are collages employing a kaleidoscope of carefully chosen imagery. There are a considerable number of photomontages in the exhibit; many offer satirical narratives piecing together the images assembled.
Three of five works he did called “Construction in Enamel,” but are more commonly known as his “telephone paintings,” are included here, and presented side by side.
“Room of the Present” is based on plans and correspondence dating back to 1930.
The immersive chamber features sculpture, posters, film, and industrial design elements.
|Moholy-Nagy’s kinetic “Light Prop for an Electric Stage (1930)|
|“Vertical Black, Red, Blue,” a 1945 sculpture in LACMA’s collection. The plexiglas is incised with an intricate pattern and painted the named colors in places.|
|Nickel sculpture with spiral, 1921|
|László Moholy-Nagy, Photograph (Self-Portrait with Hand), 1925/29, printed 1940/49, Galerie Berinson, Berlin, © 2017 Hattula Moholy-Nagy/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn|
Born in rural Hungary in 1895, Moholy lived and worked, over the course of his career, in Budapest, Vienna, and Berlin; at the Bauhaus in Weimar and Dessau; and in Amsterdam, London, and Chicago. A desire to expand his artistic horizons led to his early geographic relocations, while his later moves were the result of the rise of Hitler and National Socialism in the 1930s. Moholy’s work was collected and exhibited internationally during his lifetime, and his writings, often pedagogical, were widely published and translated.
Moholy pursued law studies at the University of Budapest but left after two years, in 1915, to serve as an artillery officer in the Austro-Hungarian army during World War I. He began drawing while on the war front, depicting its bruised landscapes and devastated figures. He got wounded in 1917 and convalesced in Budapest, writing for the city’s avant-garde publications. Moholy remained there after his discharge in 1918 to focus on painting, and was soon drawn to the cutting-edge art movements of the period, including Cubism and Futurism. Moholy moved to Vienna in 1919 before settling in Berlin in 1920, where he served as a correspondent for the progressive Hungarian magazine MA.
|Moholy -Nago 1927|
|Photogram 1926 Moholy|
|Moholy: Space Modular 1942|
|Moholy: Plexiglas and steel, Twisted Planes|