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László Moholy-Nagy  

b. 1894 B'acsborsod, Hungary, d. 1946 Chicago, Illinois
photographer; filmmaker
American

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"The reality of our century is technology: the invention, construction and maintenance of machines. To be a user of machines is to be of the spirit of this century. Machines have replaced the transcendental spiritualism of past eras."
--László Moholy-Nagy

Perhaps more than any other artist in the Getty Museum collection, László Moholy-Nagy would have delighted in the presentation of his imagery via the new technology of interactive computer systems. Ever the innovator, Moholy-Nagy counted among his artistic roles those of photographer, filmmaker, typographer, painter, sculptor, writer, graphic designer, stage designer, and teacher; he was never less than enthusiastic about employing new media when exploring new ideas of creative expression. He began his work with visual media during military service in World War I, creating more than four hundred drawings on military-issue postcards. Afterwards, he became active in Budapest's artistic circles, fleeing the city in 1919 amidst political upheaval. He landed in Berlin and joined the faculty of the German Bauhaus school in 1923.

In 1937 Moholy-Nagy moved to Chicago to become the director of the New Bauhaus, a school which promulgated its doctrines in America. When it folded after a year, he joined other former faculty members to establish the School of Design, which in 1944 became the Institute of Design in Chicago. He died of leukemia at age fifty.


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In Focus: László Moholy-Nagy

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Photogram #1 Mirror / Moholy-Nagy
Photogram #1 Mirror

American, negative 1922-1923; print about 1928

Photogram / Moholy-Nagy
Photogram

American, about 1923

Love Your Neighbor / Moholy-Nagy
Love Your Neighbor

American, 1925

Behind God / Moholy-Nagy
Behind God

American, 1925

Dolly Sisters / Moholy-Nagy
Dolly Sisters

American, 1925