László Moholy-Nagy | Light Space Modulator

By 1605 Publishers

As a painter and photographer Moholy-Nagy worked predominantly with light. He experimented with photograms, images composed by placing objects directly on light-sensitive paper, and he constructed “light-space modulators,” oil paintings on transparent or polished surfaces that included mobile light effects.

He became one of the most famous artists associated with the Bauhaus. However, he was never much liked by his colleagues at the famed German art school that lent the 1920s European movement its name. He’d never received a proper art education, and the courses he taught were freeform and, for the time, unfashionably technology-obsessed. Although he developed a loyal following among students, staff members and colleagues were less appreciative of his methods. He ultimately quit his post in 1928, in a dramatic controversy that transcended the German art world.

After he left the Bauhaus in 1929, Moholy-Nagy became involved in stage design and filmmaking. Fleeing from Nazi Germany in 1934, he went to Amsterdam and London, and in 1937 he moved to Chicago to organize the New Bauhaus (later the Institute of Design of the Illinois Institute of Technology), the first American school based on the Bauhaus program.

Lazslo Moholy-Nagy