Difference between revisions of "László Moholy-Nagy"

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[http://www.moholy-nagy.org/category-s/29.htm Film previews].
 
[http://www.moholy-nagy.org/category-s/29.htm Film previews].
  
==Bibliography==
+
==Literature==
 
[[Image:Moholy-Totality.jpg|thumb|250px|Sibyl Moholy-Nagy, ''Moholy-Nagy - Experiment in Totality'', New York: Harper & Brothers, 1950. [http://monoskop.org/log/?p=5702 Free download].]]
 
[[Image:Moholy-Totality.jpg|thumb|250px|Sibyl Moholy-Nagy, ''Moholy-Nagy - Experiment in Totality'', New York: Harper & Brothers, 1950. [http://monoskop.org/log/?p=5702 Free download].]]
 
[[Image:Moholy-Nagy_Laszlo_El_Arte_de_la_Luz.jpg|thumb|250px|''László Moholy-Nagy: El Arte de la Luz'', Madrid: La Fábrica Editorial / Círculo de Bellas Artes, 2010, catalogue. (Spanish) [http://monoskop.org/log/?p=5677 Free download].]]
 
[[Image:Moholy-Nagy_Laszlo_El_Arte_de_la_Luz.jpg|thumb|250px|''László Moholy-Nagy: El Arte de la Luz'', Madrid: La Fábrica Editorial / Círculo de Bellas Artes, 2010, catalogue. (Spanish) [http://monoskop.org/log/?p=5677 Free download].]]
; Books
+
; Authored books
 
* László Moholy-Nagy, ''Malerei, Fotografie, Film'', Muenchen: Albert Langen, 1925. ''Painting Photography Film'', Trans. Janet Seligman, Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1973.
 
* László Moholy-Nagy, ''Malerei, Fotografie, Film'', Muenchen: Albert Langen, 1925. ''Painting Photography Film'', Trans. Janet Seligman, Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1973.
 
* László Moholy-Nagy, ''Vom Material zur Architektur'', Muenchen: Albert Langen, 1929.  
 
* László Moholy-Nagy, ''Vom Material zur Architektur'', Muenchen: Albert Langen, 1929.  
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* László Moholy-Nagy, ''The New Vision and Abstract of an Artist'', New York: Wittenborn & Co., 1946.
 
* László Moholy-Nagy, ''The New Vision and Abstract of an Artist'', New York: Wittenborn & Co., 1946.
 
* László Moholy-Nagy, ''Vision in Motion'', Chicago: Paul Theobald, 1947.
 
* László Moholy-Nagy, ''Vision in Motion'', Chicago: Paul Theobald, 1947.
 +
 +
; Books made in collaboration
 +
* László Moholy-Nagy, Lajos Kassák (eds.), ''Buch Neuer Kuenstler'', 1922. An anthology of modern art and poetry.
 +
* ''Die Buehne im Bauhaus'', 1925.
 +
* ''The Streetmarkets in London'', 1935.
 +
* ''Eton Portrait'', 1936.
 +
* ''Oxford University Chest'', 1937.
 +
 +
; Books on Moholy-Nagy
 
* Sibyl Moholy-Nagy, [http://monoskop.org/log/?p=5702 ''Moholy-Nagy - Experiment in Totality''], New York: Harper & Brothers, 1950.
 
* Sibyl Moholy-Nagy, [http://monoskop.org/log/?p=5702 ''Moholy-Nagy - Experiment in Totality''], New York: Harper & Brothers, 1950.
 
* Ludvík Souček, ''László Moholy-Nagy'', Bratislava: SVKL, 1965, 41 pp. (Czech)
 
* Ludvík Souček, ''László Moholy-Nagy'', Bratislava: SVKL, 1965, 41 pp. (Czech)
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* Victor Margolin, ''The Struggle for Utopia: Rodchenko, Lissitzky, Moholy-Nagy, 1917-1946'', Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1997.
 
* Victor Margolin, ''The Struggle for Utopia: Rodchenko, Lissitzky, Moholy-Nagy, 1917-1946'', Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1997.
 
* Achim Borchardt-Hume, ''Albers and Moholy-Nagy: From the Bauhaus to the New World'', New Haven: Yale University Press, 2006.
 
* Achim Borchardt-Hume, ''Albers and Moholy-Nagy: From the Bauhaus to the New World'', New Haven: Yale University Press, 2006.
 
; Books made in collaboration
 
* László Moholy-Nagy, Lajos Kassák (eds.), ''Buch Neuer Kuenstler'', 1922. An anthology of modern art and poetry.
 
* ''Die Buehne im Bauhaus'', 1925.
 
* ''The Streetmarkets in London'', 1935.
 
* ''Eton Portrait'', 1936.
 
* ''Oxford University Chest'', 1937.
 
  
 
; Catalogues
 
; Catalogues
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== External links==
 
== External links==
 
* [http://www.moholy-nagy.com The Moholy-Nagy Foundation]
 
* [http://www.moholy-nagy.com The Moholy-Nagy Foundation]
* [http://bauhaus-online.de/en/atlas/personen/laszlo-moholy-nagy Moholy-Nagy on Bauhaus-Online.de]
+
* [http://bauhaus-online.de/en/atlas/personen/laszlo-moholy-nagy Moholy-Nagy at Bauhaus-Online.de]
* [http://www.olats.org/pionniers/pp/moholy/laszlo_moholy-nagy.php Moholy-Nagy on Leonardo OLATS]
+
* [http://www.olats.org/pionniers/pp/moholy/laszlo_moholy-nagy.php Moholy-Nagy at Leonardo OLATS]
* [http://www.theartstory.org/artist-moholy-nagy-laszlo.htm Moholy-Nagy on TheArtStory]
+
* [http://www.theartstory.org/artist-moholy-nagy-laszlo.htm Moholy-Nagy at TheArtStory]
* [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L%C3%A1szl%C3%B3_Moholy-Nagy Moholy-Nagy on Wikipedia]
+
* [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L%C3%A1szl%C3%B3_Moholy-Nagy Moholy-Nagy at Wikipedia]
 
* [http://www.gimagine.com/gimagine/kiallitasok/2006/moholy-nagy_laszlo/default.htm 2006 exhibition in New York]
 
* [http://www.gimagine.com/gimagine/kiallitasok/2006/moholy-nagy_laszlo/default.htm 2006 exhibition in New York]
  
 
{{featured article}}
 
{{featured article}}
 
{{DEFAULTSORT:Moholy-Nagy, László}}
 
{{DEFAULTSORT:Moholy-Nagy, László}}

Revision as of 23:54, 15 January 2013


Portrait by Lucia Moholy. Dressed in workman's overalls, at entrance to his "Master's House" at Bauhaus in Dessau, 1926.
Born July 20, 1895(1895-07-20)
Bácsborsód, Austria-Hungary
Died November 24, 1946(1946-11-24) (aged 51)
Chicago, United States
Photograph by Lucia Moholy, 1925-26.
Living room of László and Lucia Moholy-Nagy's Master House, Dessau, c. 1926. Photograph by Lucia Moholy.

László Moholy-Nagy was a Hungarian painter and photographer as well as professor in the Bauhaus school. He was highly influenced by constructivism and a strong advocate of the integration of technology and industry into the arts.

Early life

Moholy-Nagy was born László Weisz in Bácsborsód to a Jewish-Hungarian family, his father was a wheat farmer. His cousin was the conductor Sir Georg Solti. He changed his German-Jewish surname to the Magyar surname of his mother's Christian lawyer friend Nagy, who supported the family and helped raise Moholy-Nagy and his brothers when their Jewish father, Lipót Weisz left the family. Later, he added "Moholy" to his surname, after the name of the town Mohol in which he grew up. One part of his boyhood was spent in the Ada town, near Mohol in family house. In 1918 he formally converted to the Hungarian Reformed Church (Calvinist); his Godfather was his Roman Catholic university friend, the art critic Ivan Hevesy.

He attended Gymnasium (academic high school) in Szeged. His interest had been primarily literary. He had published poetry and short stories since the age of 13 in progressive Little Magazines. In 1935 he enrolled at University of Budapest to study law; in Budapest he became a friend of the poet Ady and through his friends became acquainted with progressive young writers and musicians. In August 1914 he was called into the Austro-Hungarian army; October 1914 sent to the Russian theater; 1915 while recovering from shell shock in a field hospital he started to do pencil and crayon sketches; 1917 received a severe wound, which mutilated his left thumb; during his convalescence, first at Odessa and later in Szeged, he began to paint portraits using water colours and oil pencil. After becoming involved with the journal Jelenkor [The Present Age], edited by Hevesy, in Szeged he organized the "Activist" group called Ma [Today] with four friends including Lajos Kassák. After his discharge from the army in October 1918, he returned to Budapest and took a degree of Bachelor of Laws at the University. He did not, however, intend to practice law; he had continued painting, and attended the private art school of the Hungarian Fauve artist Róbert Berény. In 1919 he began to acquaint himself with the work of other modern artists, especially with Malevich and Lissitzky; in Budapest there were no recent paintings, only a few reproductions of paintings by western artists to be seen, since the city had been completely isolated from the west during the five war years. MA group began to publish a contemporary art quarterly. He was a supporter of the Communist Dictatorship (known as "Red Terror" and also "Hungarian Soviet Republic"), declared early in 1919, though he assumed no official role in it. After the defeat of the Communist Regime in August, he withdrew to Szeged. An exhibition of his work was held there.

Around November 1919 he left for Vienna where he felt he would have greater stimulus and closer association with men of his own artistic vision. Up to this time his paintings and drawings had been representational in the cubist manner: representational forms were still recognizable, though reduced to formalized or merely linear elements.

In February 1920 he left for Berlin. After his arrival he did purely non-objective work, devoting almost a year exclusively to Collages and to Fotograms, that is, "cameraless photographs". He had contact with the Dadaists. In 1921 he became acquainted with the Russian constructivism. In the winter 1920-21, Hervard Walden arranged the first exhibition of Moholy-Nagy's work in Der Sturm gallery in Berlin, where he shown his first photograms and telephone pictures, with Laszlo Peri, and which travelled to Hanover, Dresden, Halle, Stuttgart, Hamburg, and Franfkurt. He finished the film-script for Die Dynamik der Grossstadt. In Vienna he edited, together with Lajos Kassák, the Buch Neuer Kuenstler, an anthology of modern art and poetry. In 1922 Gropius, founder of the Staatliche Bauhaus in Weimar saw Moholy's work and appointed him professor.

Works

At the Weimar Bauhaus (1923-1928)

In the Spring 1923, Moholy-Nagy replaced Johannes Itten as head of the metal workshop at Weimar Bauhaus. This period marked the end of the school's expressionistic leanings and moved it closer towards its original aims as a school of design and industrial integration. His interest in industrial design and architectural exhibitions dates from that time. Like the other teachers at the Bauhaus he worked not only in the workroom assigned to him but collaborated with Oskar Schlemmer and others on murals, ballet and stage designs, in light and colour experiments, and in typography and layout. With Gropius he planned, edited and designed the fourteen Bauhaus Buecher each volume presenting a particular phase of Bauhaus work. His own books in this series--Malerei, Fotografie, Film (1925)--Vom Material zur Architektur (1929) stated his own visual and pedagogical creed and gave examples of his experimental work in light and colour. His teaching had a profound influence on a number of his students, including Marianne Brandt.

By 1923 he described his paintings as Constructivism, and his earlier linear emphasis turned to an emphasis on coloured forms. But between 1923 and 1927 his interests were centered chiefly on photography, which offered him an unlimited field for experimentation. Photo-sculptures since 1924. Encounter with Malevich in 1927. Photography editor of a Dutch avant-garde monthly International Revue i 10 from 1927 to 1929.

Emerging nazism of German politics tried to impose on Gropius so many restrictions and compromises in his management of the Bauhaus that he resigned in early 1928. Moholy-Nagy, who was his closest collaborator, resigned with him and worked free-lance as a higly sought-after designer in Berlin.

Works

Photogram
Painting
Photomontage
Photography
Other

Berlin (1928-1934)

In Berlin, Moholy-Nagy made a brilliant career for himself as a stage designer for the progressive State Opera and the Piscator Theatre. His Tales of Hoffman, Madame Butterfly and The Merchant of Berlin became the main attractions. He also designed three large exhibitions of new building methods and new design in Berlin, Brussels and Paris, and became prominent as a typographer and poster designer. His interest in static photography gradually declined and he began to experiment in films, photograms and sound film combinations. Marseille Vieux Port (1929) was his first film. His studio employed artists and designers such as Istvan Seboek, Gyorgy Kepes and Andor Weininger.

Perhaps his most enduring achievement is the construction of the Lichtrequisit einer elektrischen Buehne [Light Prop for an Electric Stage] (completed 1930), a device with moving parts meant to have light projected through it in order to create mobile light reflections and shadows on nearby surfaces. Made with the help of the Hungarian architect Istvan Seboek for the German Werkbund exhibition held in Paris during the summer of 1930, it is often interpreted as a kinetic sculpture. After his death, it was dubbed the Light-Space Modulator and was seen as a pioneer achievement of kinetic sculpture. It might more accurately be seen as one of the earliest examples of Light Art. With it he also made his best known film, 'Lightplay, Black-White-Gray (1930).

He began using new plastic materials as background for his paintings, mainly galalith and neolith, trolit and collon. Later he added the new transparent rhodoid and plexiglass. He also used aluminum and copper plates and created a series of enamel paintings. In 1930 The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation in New York started to buy his paintings. The Stockholm National Museum arranged an exhibition of his work; so did the museums in Amsterdam, Brno, Hamburg, Mannheim, Cologne and Budapest. His work in this period was concentrated upon new methods of advertising. Extensive trips to France, Finland, Norway, Switzerland, Italy, Greece, etc. stimulated his interest in new methods for producing documentary films (Marseille, Gypsies, Streetpicture, Finland, Architectural Congress), and new approaches to static photography. He organized the Stuttgart Werkbund exhibition Film und Foto. In 1931 he held a series of 6 lectures at the School of Arts and Crafts, Bratislava.

Works

Film

Lichtspiel, Schwarz-Weiss-Grau [Light-Play Black-White-Gray], 6 min, 1930. Download (WEBM)
Photography
Sculpture, Painting, Design, Stage design

Amsterdam (1933-35)

After the Nazis came to power in Germany in 1933, and, as a foreign citizen, he was no longer allowed to work, and in December 1933 moved to Amsterdam, where a large printing company offered him facilities for experiments with colour film and photography. While there he held his solo exhibition in Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (Nov-Dec 1934), and designed the large Fair in Utrecht (March 1935) for Dutch Rayon Industry, the manufacturers of artificial silk, which offered a new approach to exhibition architecture and which, a year later, found its continuation in the Courtauld Exhibit at the Industrial Fair in London.

London (1935-1937)

After his travel to Paris in March 1933 he moved to London in May where he formed part of the circle of émigré artists and intellectuals who based themselves in Hampstead. Moholy-Nagy lived for a time in the Isokon building with Walter Gropius for eight months and then settled in Golders Green. Gropius and Moholy-Nagy planned to establish an English version of the Bauhaus but could not secure backing, and then Moholy-Nagy was turned down for a teaching job at the Royal College of Art. Moholy became art advisor for Simpson, the Royal Air Lines and the London Transport. He photographed contemporary architecture for the Architectural Review where the assistant editor was John Betjeman who commissioned Moholy-Nagy to make documentary photographs to illustrate his book An Oxford University Chest. He had another two large volumes of documentary photography published: Street Markets in London, Eton Portrait. Made a documentary film Life of the Lobster. A completely new interest now began to develop in his painting. The production of transparent materials had so improved that sheets, clear as water, were obtainable. He designed three-dimensional paintings which not only displayed colour and form on top and underneath the transparent sheets but included the play of shadow created on a white background, three inches or so behind the actual picture; he called these paintings Space Modulators. In 1936, he was commissioned by fellow Hungarian film producer Alexander Korda to design special effects for Things to Come by H. G. Wells. František Kalivoda in Brno, Czecho-Slovakia, published in that year a monograph Telehor in three languages on Moholy's work. Was made a honorary member of the Oxford and Cambridge Art Societies and of the Designer Institute of London. Working at Denham Studios, Moholy-Nagy created kinetic sculptures and abstract light effects, but they were rejected by the film's director. At the invitation of Leslie Martin, he gave a lecture to the architecture school of Hull University.

Works

Chicago (from 1937)

In 1937, at the invitation of Walter Paepcke, the Chairman of the Container Corporation of America, Moholy-Nagy moved to Chicago to become the director of the New Bauhaus. Philosophy of the school was basically unchanged from that of the original, and its headquarters was the Prairie Avenue mansion that architect Richard Morris Hunt designed for department store magnate Marshall Field.

Unfortunately, the school lost the financial backing of its supporters after only a single academic year, and it closed in 1938. Paepcke, however, continued his own support, and in 1939, Moholy-Nagy opened the School of Design with most of his original staff (George Kepes, Robert J. Wolff, Charles Niedringhaus, James Prestini, etc). In 1944, this became the Institute of Design. In 1949 the Institute of Design became a part of Illinois Institute of Technology and became the first institution in the United States to offer a PhD in design. He authored an account of his efforts to develop the curriculum of the School of Design in his book Vision in Motion (1947).

As a designer Moholy-Nagy was an art advisor for the mail-order house of Spiegl, Inc., for the Baltimore and Ohio R.R., the Parker Pen Company and others. To a reprint of his New Vision he added Abstract of an Artist and he published numerous articles on education, design, camouflage technique, rehabilitation of veterans, and painting. After 1940 Moholy-Nagy developed his three-dimensional Space Modulator toward richer light effects, through a heightening in his surface treatment and by the embodiment of free standing or suspended sculptures in the composition, to throw shadows or to multiply the reflections of natural or artificial light. In 1945 and 1946 he painted again a great deal; several larger oil canvasses and took particular interest in water colours and ink drawings, creating a variety of new approaches.

Works

Photogram
Photography
Other

Death and legacy

Moholy-Nagy died of leukemia in Chicago in November 1946. At the time of his death he was President of the Institute of Design, now having 680 students in its own building on 632 N. Dearborn Street; a director of the American Designers Institute, of the CIAM (Congress Internationale Architecture) and a member of many progressive civic and art groups. Museums of New York, San Francisco, Chicago, Cincinnati, Detroit, Dayton, Jacksonville and Los Angeles have given exhibitions of his work and have purchased paintings.

Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design in Budapest is named in his honour. Works by him are currently on display at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC. In 1998, he received a Tribute Marker from the City of Chicago. In the autumn of 2003, the Moholy-Nagy Foundation, Inc. was established as a source of information about Moholy-Nagy's life and works.

Filmography

Marseille Vieux Port (1929), Lichtspiel, Schwarz-Weiss-Grau [Light-Play Black-White-Gray] (1930), Berliner Stilleben [Berlin Still Life] (1931) (or 1926?), Talking ABC (1932), Gypsies (1932), Lobsters (1935), special effects for Things to Come (1936), The New Architecture of the London Zoo (1936).

Film previews.

Literature

Sibyl Moholy-Nagy, Moholy-Nagy - Experiment in Totality, New York: Harper & Brothers, 1950. Free download.
László Moholy-Nagy: El Arte de la Luz, Madrid: La Fábrica Editorial / Círculo de Bellas Artes, 2010, catalogue. (Spanish) Free download.
Authored books
  • László Moholy-Nagy, Malerei, Fotografie, Film, Muenchen: Albert Langen, 1925. Painting Photography Film, Trans. Janet Seligman, Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1973.
  • László Moholy-Nagy, Vom Material zur Architektur, Muenchen: Albert Langen, 1929.
  • László Moholy-Nagy, 60 Photographs in Fototek, Berlin: Klinkhardt & Bierrmann, 1929.
  • László Moholy-Nagy, The New Vision and Abstract of an Artist, New York: Wittenborn & Co., 1946.
  • László Moholy-Nagy, Vision in Motion, Chicago: Paul Theobald, 1947.
Books made in collaboration
  • László Moholy-Nagy, Lajos Kassák (eds.), Buch Neuer Kuenstler, 1922. An anthology of modern art and poetry.
  • Die Buehne im Bauhaus, 1925.
  • The Streetmarkets in London, 1935.
  • Eton Portrait, 1936.
  • Oxford University Chest, 1937.
Books on Moholy-Nagy
  • Sibyl Moholy-Nagy, Moholy-Nagy - Experiment in Totality, New York: Harper & Brothers, 1950.
  • Ludvík Souček, László Moholy-Nagy, Bratislava: SVKL, 1965, 41 pp. (Czech)
  • Richard Kostelanetz, Moholy-Nagy, New York: Praeger, 1970.
  • Lucia Moholy, Marginalien zu Moholy-Nagy, Krefeld: Scherpe, 1972. (German)
  • Gianni Rondolino, Laszlo Moholy-Nagy. Pittura, fotografia, film, Torino: Martano, 1975. (Italian)
  • Andreas Haus, Moholy-Nagy Fotos und Fotogramme, München: Schiermer-Mosel, 1978. (German)
  • Irene-Charlotte Lusk, Montagen ins Blaue: Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, Fotomontagen und -collagen 1922-1943, Gießen: Anabas, 1980. (German)
  • Krisztina Passuth, Moholy-Nagy, Budapest: Corvina, 1982. Trans. London: Thames and Hudson, 1985.
  • Eleanor Hight, Picturing Modernity: Moholy-Nagy and Photography in Weimar Germany, Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1995.
  • Louis Kaplan, László Moholy-Nagy: Biographical Writings, Duke University Press, 1995.
  • Victor Margolin, The Struggle for Utopia: Rodchenko, Lissitzky, Moholy-Nagy, 1917-1946, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1997.
  • Achim Borchardt-Hume, Albers and Moholy-Nagy: From the Bauhaus to the New World, New Haven: Yale University Press, 2006.
Catalogues
  • László Beke, Moholy-Nagy László munkássága, Budapest, Corvina, 1980. (Hungarian)
  • Belena S. Chapp (ed.), László Moholy-Nagy: From Budapest to Berlin 1914-1923, University of Delaware, 1995.
  • Oliver A. I. Botar, Technical Detours: The Early Moholy-Nagy Reconsidered, New York: Art Gallery of the CUNY Graduate Center, 2006.
  • László Moholy-Nagy: El Arte de la Luz, Madrid: La Fábrica Editorial / Círculo de Bellas Artes, 2010. Catalogue reproducing 200+ of his works. (Spanish)
Magazines
  • Telehor: The International Review New Vision (Mezinárodní časopis pro visuální kulturu / Internationale Zeitschrift für visuelle Kultur / Revue internationale pour la culture visuelle) Vol 1, No 1-2, Brno, 1936. Edited by František Kalivoda. Published as a special double-issue devoted to L. Moholy-Nagy (1895-1946). [2]
Articles

See also

External links