László Moholy-Nagy. A Lightplay: Black White Gray. c. 1926

László Moholy-Nagy A Lightplay: Black White Gray c. 1926

  • Not on view

In 1927, four years after he joined the faculty of the Bauhaus school in Weimar Germany, Moholy-Nagy published Malerei, Fotografie, Film (Painting, Photography, Film). In this influential book—part of a series he coedited with Walter Gropius, director of the Bauhaus—he asserted that photography and cinema had heralded a "culture of light" that had overtaken the most innovative aspects of painting. Moholy-Nagy extolled photography—and film, by extension—as the quintessential medium of the future. His interest in the movement of objects and light through space led him to construct Light Prop for an Electric Stage (Light-Space Modulator). This object is the subject of Ein Lichtspiel: schwarz weiss grau (A Lightplay: Black White Gray), Moholy-Nagy's only abstract film, which synthesizes his attempts to visualize the act of seeing from multiple viewpoints.

Gallery label from The Shaping of New Visions: Photography, Film, Photobook, April 16, 2012–April 29, 2013.
Gelatin silver print
14 3/4 × 10 13/16" (37.4 × 27.5 cm)
Gift of the artist
Object number
© 2021 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn

Installation views

How we identified these works

In 2018–19, MoMA collaborated with Google Arts & Culture Lab on a project using machine learning to identify artworks in installation photos. That project has concluded, and works are now being identified by MoMA staff.

If you notice an error, please contact us at [email protected].


If you would like to reproduce an image of a work of art in MoMA’s collection, or an image of a MoMA publication or archival material (including installation views, checklists, and press releases), please contact Art Resource (publication in North America) or Scala Archives (publication in all other geographic locations).

All requests to license audio or video footage produced by MoMA should be addressed to Scala Archives at [email protected]. Motion picture film stills or motion picture footage from films in MoMA’s Film Collection cannot be licensed by MoMA/Scala. For licensing motion picture film footage it is advised to apply directly to the copyright holders. For access to motion picture film stills please contact the Film Study Center. More information is also available about the film collection and the Circulating Film and Video Library.

If you would like to reproduce text from a MoMA publication, please email [email protected]. If you would like to publish text from MoMA’s archival materials, please fill out this permission form and send to [email protected].


This record is a work in progress. If you have additional information or spotted an error, please send feedback to [email protected].