The Olly and Dolly Sisters
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© 2014 Estate of László Moholy-Nagy / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

László Moholy-Nagy
American, born Hungary, about 1925
Gelatin silver print
14 3/4 x 10 13/16 in.

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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.