The J. Paul Getty Museum

Der Spiegel. Fotogram Nr. 1

Object Details

Title:

Der Spiegel. Fotogram Nr. 1

Artist/Maker:

László Moholy-Nagy (American, born Hungary, 1895 - 1946)

Culture:

American

Place:

Germany (Place Created)

Date:

negative 1922–1923; print about 1928

Medium:

Gelatin silver print

Object Number:

84.XF.450

Dimensions:

66.8 × 92.1 cm (26 5/16 × 36 1/4 in.)

Copyright:

© 2014 Estate of László Moholy-Nagy / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

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Object Description

An early photogram was probably used as a negative to print this imposing enlargement, which may have been made for the 1929 Film und Foto exhibition in Stuttgart. The artist sometimes exhibited his paintings and photographs together, and a print of this size would have commanded equal attention in such a context. The title refers to a mirror; it is possible that the shapes in this composition were made with a circular looking glass and its reflections. In his essay “Light: A Medium of Plastic Expression,” published in the American avant-garde periodical Broom in 1923, László Moholy-Nagy specifically refers to the use of lenses, mirrors, and other translucent objects to create gradations of light values rather than simple silhouettes. Of all his photographic work, this print perhaps achieves most fully Moholy’s goal of non-objective expression and is closest in spirit to the abstract paintings of the Russian artist and theorist Kazimir Malevich.

Katherine Ware, László Moholy-Nagy, In Focus: Photographs from the J. Paul Getty Museum (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1995), 70. © 1995 The J. Paul Getty Museum.

Provenance
Provenance
- 1984

Samuel Wagstaff, Jr., American, 1921 - 1987, sold to the J. Paul Getty Museum, 1984.

Exhibitions
Exhibitions
Photographs from the Sam Wagstaff Collection (November 15, 1985 to January 11, 1986)
  • The Photographers' Gallery (London), November 15, 1985 to January 11, 1986
Experimental Photography: The Painter-Photographer (July 5, 1989 to October 7, 1990)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum (Malibu), July 5 to September 26, 1989
  • Williams College Museum of Art (Williamstown), July 28 to October 7, 1990
Arrows of Time: Photographs from the J. Paul Getty Museum (January 24 to April 2, 1995)
  • Armand Hammer Museum of Art and Cultural Center at UCLA (Los Angeles), January 24 to April 2, 1995
Vision in Motion: The Photographs of László Moholy-Nagy (June 27 to October 8, 1995)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum (Malibu), June 27 to October 8, 1995
Capturing Time: A Celebration of Photographs (December 1, 1997 to March 1, 1998)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), December 1, 1997 to March 1, 1998
Photographers of Genius (March 16 to July 25, 2004)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), March 16 to July 25, 2004
Light, Paper, Process: Reinventing Photography (April 14 to September 6, 2015)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), April 14 to September 6, 2015
The Thrill of the Chase: The Wagstaff Collection of Photographs at the J. Paul Getty Museum (March 15, 2016 to May 7, 2017)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), March 15 to July 31, 2016
  • Wadsworth Atheneum (Hartford), September 10 to December 11, 2016
  • Portland Museum of Art (Portland), February 13 to May 7, 2017
Bibliography
Bibliography

Ware, Katherine.In Focus: Laszlo Moholy-Nagy. Photographs from the J. Paul Getty Museum (Los Angeles: The J. Paul Getty Museum, 1995), p. 70-71, plate 37, ill.