- Gallery Text
Moholy-Nagy’s tenure at the Bauhaus, where he led the school’s preliminary course and metal workshop from 1923 to 1928, is most strongly associated with his promotion of technology and industrial materials as well as his innovative work with photography. Yet painting remained central to his practice, serving as an important means of advancing his investigation of light, transparency, and abstraction and their potential to produce new forms of visual experience. In this work he employs a constructivist vocabulary of geometric shapes and bold colors to describe a delicate, floating structure. His repetition and distortion of translucent rectangular forms suggest three-dimensional space as well as movement. Moholy further complicates and animates these relationships through contrasting surface effects, ranging from enamel-like gloss to rougher textures. He sometimes used the letters “A” or “Z” in his titles to denote a painting on canvas as opposed to one on a metal or synthetic support.
- Identification and Creation
- Object Number
László Moholy-Nagy, American (Bacsborsod, Hungary 1895 - 1946 Chicago, Ill., USA)
- A 18
- Work Type
Level 1, Room 1520, Modern and Contemporary Art, Art in Germany Between the Wars
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- Physical Descriptions
- Oil on canvas
- irregular: 95 x 75.5 cm (37 3/8 x 29 3/4 in.)
frame: 113.7 x 93.3 x 10.8 cm (44 3/4 x 36 3/4 x 4 1/4 in.)
- Sibyl Moholy-Nagy, sold; to Busch-Reisinger Museum, 1950.
- Acquisition and Rights
- Credit Line
- Harvard Art Museums/Busch-Reisinger Museum, Museum Purchase
- © Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn
- Accession Year
- Object Number
- Modern and Contemporary Art
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- Publication History
Plus by minus: Today's Half-Century, exh. cat., Albright-Knox Art Gallery (Buffalo, NY, 1968), n.p., cat. no. 126
Charles Werner Haxthausen, The Busch-Reisinger Museum, Harvard University, Abbeville Press (New York, NY, 1980), p. 27, repr.
Peter Nisbet and Emilie Norris, Busch-Reisinger Museum: History and Holdings, Harvard University Art Museums (Cambridge, MA, 1991), p. 61, ill.
Leah Dickerman and Barry Bergdoll, Bauhaus 1919-1933: Workshops for Modernity, exh. cat., ed. David Frankel, Museum of Modern Art, New York (New York, 2009), cat. no. 287, p. 221, color repr.
- Exhibition History
Plus by Minus: Today's Half-Century, Albright-Knox Art Gallery, 03/03/1968 - 04/14/1968
From Werkbund to Bauhaus: Art and Design in Germany 1900-1934, Busch-Reisinger Museum, Cambridge, 05/12/1980 - 04/26/1980
Works from the 20th Century Collection of the Busch-Reisinger, National Gallery of Art, Washington, 06/15/1980 - 09/01/1980; Wildenstein Gallery, New York, New York, 09/23/1980 - 10/24/1980
20th-Century Works on Paper from the Permanent Collection, Busch-Reisinger Museum, Cambridge, 09/07/1981 - 11/11/1981
19th- and 20th-Century Works on Paper from the Permanent Collection, Busch-Reisinger Museum, Cambridge, 02/08/1982
Art of the Weimar Era, Busch-Reisinger Museum, Cambridge, 04/05/1982 - 05/22/1982
Deutsche Kunst des 20. Jahrhunderts aus dem Busch-Reisinger Museum, Stadtische Galerie im Stadelschen Kunstinstitut, Frankfurt, 10/23/1982 - 01/16/1983; Bauhaus-Archiv, Berlin 30, 02/10/1983 - 04/17/1983; Kunstmuseum Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf, 05/08/1983 - 06/26/1983
Modern Art at Harvard, Bunkamura Museum of Art, Tokyo, 07/31/1999 - 09/26/1999; Takamatsu City Museum of Art, Kagawa, 10/09/1999 - 11/14/1999; Matsuzakaya Art Museum, Nagoya, 12/02/1999 - 12/27/1999; Oita City Museum, Oita, 01/06/2000 - 02/06/2000; Museum of Modern Art, Ibaraki, Ibaraki, 02/11/2000 - 03/26/2000
Modell Bauhaus, Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin-Kreuzberg, 07/22/2009 - 10/04/2009
Bauhaus 1919-1933: Workshops for Modernity, Museum of Modern Art, New York, New York, 11/08/2009 - 01/25/2010
32Q: 1520 Art in Germany Between the Wars (Interwar and Bauhaus), Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 11/16/2014 - 12/10/2018; Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 08/05/2019 - 01/01/2050
The Bauhaus and Harvard, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 02/08/2019 - 07/28/2019
- Subjects and Contexts
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