Solomon R. Guggenheim MuseumNew York May 27 – September 7, 2016
The first comprehensive retrospective of the work of László Moholy-Nagy (1895–1946) to appear in the United States in nearly fifty years, this long overdue presentation reveals a utopian artist who believed that art could work hand-in-hand with technology for the betterment of humanity. The exhibition presents an unparalleled opportunity to examine the career of this pioneering painter, photographer, sculptor, and filmmaker as well as graphic, exhibition, and stage designer, who was also an influential teacher at the Bauhaus, a prolific writer, and later the founder of Chicago’s Institute of Design. Among his radical innovations were experimentation with cameraless photography; the use of industrial materials in painting and sculpture; research with light, transparency, and movement; work at the forefront of abstraction; and the fluidity with which he moved between the fine and applied arts. The exhibition includes more than 300 collages, drawings, ephemera, films, paintings, photograms, photographs, photomontages, and sculptures, including works from public and private collections across Europe and the United States, some of which have never before been shown publicly in the U.S. Also on display is the ‘Room of the Present,’ a contemporary fabrication of an exhibition space originally conceived by Moholy-Nagy in 1930. It includes photographic reproductions, films, slides, and replicas of architecture, theater and industrial design including a 2006 replica of his kinetic ‘Light Prop for an Electric Stage’ (1930). Though never realized during his lifetime, ‘The Room of the Present’ illustrates Moholy’s belief in the power of images and various means by which to view them—a highly relevant paradigm in today’s constantly shifting and evolving technological world.
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