Walter Dexel Fotografie der Gegenwart (Contemporary Photography) (Poster for exhibition in Magdeburg) 1929

  • Not on view

"The New Typography emphasizes contrasts and uses them to create a new unity," Tschichold wrote. "The real meaning of form is made clearer by its opposite." The visual impact of Dexel's poster for a photography exhibition relies on this principle of contrast. Rather than referring to the pictorial content of the exhibition, the strips of reversed lettering emphasize the technical process of printing photographs from a negative. Ironically, the machinelike precision of the lettering was achieved by laborious and highly skilled handwork—the text was engraved letter by letter into linoleum, a material notoriously difficult to incise with such accuracy.

Gallery label from The New Typography, December 23, 2009–July 26, 2010.
33 1/4 x 23 1/4" (84.5 x 59.0 cm)
W. Pfannkuch & Co., Magdeburg
Gift of the designer
Object number
Architecture and Design

Installation views

We have identified these works in the following photos from our exhibition history.

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).

MoMA licenses archival audio and select out of copyright film clips from our film collection. At this time, MoMA produced video cannot be licensed by MoMA/Scala. All requests to license archival audio or out of copyright film clips should be addressed to Scala Archives at [email protected]. Motion picture film stills cannot be licensed by MoMA/Scala. For access to motion picture film stills for research purposes, please contact the Film Study Center at [email protected]. For more information about film loans and our Circulating Film and Video Library, please visit

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].