László Moholy-Nagy. Z II. 1925
  • Not on view

In this work, made while he was teaching at the Bauhaus, Moholy-Nagy explored the intersection of abstract elements in abstract space. Broken forms, in varying degrees of transparency, slide past each other on illusory spatial planes, illustrating the artist's longtime interest in the function and effects of light. In these years Moholy-Nagy also experimented with photography—a medium closely aligned with the credo of the Bauhaus: "Art and Technology: A New Unity." These photographic investigations informed his painting process, which he reimagined as an art not of pigment but of light. This kind of cross-medium exploration was strongly encouraged at the Bauhaus, where a broad range of workshops in the fine and applied arts helped to shape productive relationships among faculty and students working in diverse media.

Gallery label from 2011.
Medium
Oil on canvas
Dimensions
37 5/8 x 29 5/8" (95.4 x 75.1 cm)
Credit
Gift of Mrs. Sibyl Moholy-Nagy
Object number
18.1956
Copyright
© 2019 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn
Department
Painting and Sculpture

This work is included in the Provenance Research Project, which investigates the ownership history of works in MoMA's collection.

1925 - 1946, László Moholy-Nagy, Dessau and Chicago.
1946 - 1956, Sibyl Moholy-Nagy (1903-1971, the artist’s widow), Chicago and New York, inherited from the artist.
1956, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, acquired as gift from Sibyl Moholy-Nagy.

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