DATE: 10/7/2010 | BY OLIVA MARíA RUBIO
By Olivia Maria Rubio
László Moholy–Nagy is one of the greatest personalities of modernity. His aspirations to reach the ideal of the “total artist" make him a fundamental, indispensable figure during the first half of the 20th Century.
Being at the same time theoretical and practical, Moholy-Nagy always wanted to be a total artist. He approached creation from many different angles: painting, photography,publicity and industrial design, movies, sculpture, scenography...carrying out a radical, extreme experimental practice, not establishing any aesthetic hierarchy among his works of all kinds.
Also, [Moholy-Nagy] gave a fundamental importance to education, devoting himself to it when he started working for the Bauhaus, after being requested by Walter Gropius. Later on in Chicago he reassumed teaching, first at the New Bauhaus, which tried to implement in the USA all programs from the German Bauhaus, and then at the Institute of Design of Chicago, where he worked for the rest of his life, until his death in 1946.
From Weimar to Chicago, Moholy-Nagy kept his faith in his pedagogic ideal. He believed in education as the way to develop students' abilities and as the way of preparing the arrival of “the new, total man”.
Moholy-Nagy refers to his evolution as a painter as a shift from a “transparencies painting” to a painting that is free of any representative pressure, in order to be capable of painting “not with pigment but with light”.
Though he wasn’t in charge of photography classes at the Bauhaus, it was there that he wrote "Painting, Photography, Film" and where he carried out his experiences in photography. He invented the “photogram” at the same time that Man Ray invented the “Rayogram” in Paris.
All text and images excerpted from Laszlo Moholy-Nagy: The Art of Light. Texts have been edited to fit this blog post.
László Moholy-Nagy: The Art of Light
LA FáBRICAClth, 8.75 x 10.75 in. / 256 pgs / illustrated throughout.