Olly and Dolly Sisters

Object Details


Olly and Dolly Sisters


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






Gelatin silver print


37.5 × 27.5 cm (14 3/4 × 10 13/16 in.)


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

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A floating circle, a common motif in László Moholy-Nagy's work, is a dominant, repeated form in this composition: one superimposed over the face of a human figure, a second substituting for another body, and the final and largest circle serving as the foundation upon which the figure perches. The detailed opulence of the plumed skirt cascading around the woman's body contrasts with the empty void of the black sphere obliterating her face and thus her identity.

The title refers to the identical twin Dolly Sisters, Jenny and Rosie, who were a dance team popular in Europe and the United States from 1911 to 1927. They appeared at the Moulin Rouge in Paris and the Ziegfeld Follies in New York, and spent their final years in Los Angeles. They were renowned for both their beauty and their gambling prowess.

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
Albers and Moholy-Nagy: From Bauhaus to the New World (March 9, 2006 to January 21, 2007)
  • Tate Modern (London), March 9 to June 4, 2006
  • Kunsthalle Bielefeld, June 25 to October 1, 2006
  • Whitney Museum of American Art (New York), November 2, 2006 to January 21, 2007
The Art of Light (June 1, 2010 to May 1, 2011) (85)
  • Circulo de Bellas Artes (Madrid), June 1 to August 29, 2010
  • Martin-Gropius-Bau (Berlin), November 4, 2010 to January 16, 2011
  • Gemeentemuseum Den Haag (The Hague), January 29 to May 1, 2011
Moholy-Nagy: Future Present (May 27, 2016 to June 18, 2017)
  • Los Angeles County Museum of Art (Los Angeles), February 12 to June 18, 2017

Rubio, Oliva Maria. The Art of Light, László Moholy-Nagy (Madrid: La Fabrica, 2010), p. 85.

Saul, Julie. Moholy-Nagy Fotoplastiks, the Bauhaus Years, exh. cat. (Bronx, N.Y. (1040 Grand Concourse, Bronx 10456): Bronx Museum of the Arts, 1983), p. 36.

Masterpieces of the J. Paul Getty Museum: Photographs (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1999), p. 95.

Eliel, Carol S., Karole Vail, and Matthew S. Witkovsky, eds. Moholy-Nagy: Future Present, exh. cat. (Chicago: The Art Institute of Chicago, 2016), p. 97, fig. 117.