Art of the 20th Century


Art Styles in 20th century Art Map


Laszlo Moholy-Nagy



Laszlo Moholy-Nagy

born July 20, 1895, Bacsbarsod, Hung.
died Nov. 24, 1946, Chicago

Hungarian painter, photographer, and art teacher, whose vision of a nonrepresentational art consisting of pure visual fundamentals—colour, texture, light, and equilibrium of forms—was immensely influential in both the fine and applied arts in the mid-20th century.

Moholy-Nagy studied law in Budapest, joined the poetry circle of Endre Ady, and published woodcuts of Cubist influence in the avant-garde journal Ma. He went to Berlin in 1921, and in 1923 he headed the metal workshop of the famous avant-garde school of design known as the Bauhaus and edited the publications known as the Bauhausbook series. During his Bauhaus years (1923–29) he evolved the contributions to art and to art education for which he is known.

As painter and photographer he worked predominantly with light. His photograms were composed directly on the film, and his “light modulators” (oil paintings on transparent or polished surfaces) included mobile light effects. As an educator, Moholy-Nagy evolved a widely accepted curriculum developing natural visual gifts instead of specialized skills in the student. His dictum was: “Everybodyis talented.” Fine-arts training was abolished in favour of “designing the whole man.” Fleeing from Nazi Germany in 1935, he went to London and then in 1937 organized and headed in Chicago the New Bauhaus (later the Institute of Design of the Illinois Institute of Technology), the first American school based on the Bauhaus program.






Ascona yard, 1926


Chairs at Margate, 1935


Bauhaus Balconies, 1926






Dolls, 1926




Photogram 41 - Lightning Rod
gelatin silver print


Photogram, 1939

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