Technical Detours: The Early Works of Moholy-Nagy Reconsidered

László Moholy-Nagy, Landscape (Bridge at Óbuda Hajógyár?), 1918-19
Sep 01, 2006 - Oct 31, 2006
Voorhees Gallery

This large, dynamic exhibition explores the early career of the Hungarian artist László Moholy-Nagy (1895-1946), one of the most important figures in modern art of the twentieth century. Moholy-Nagy was an international artist and educator who worked in Hungary and Germany before moving to the United States where he finished his career. The exhibition will feature over 200 items, including paintings, watercolors and book designs that illustrate the tremendous influence of Moholy-Nagy’s work on artists in the early to mid twentieth century.

Technical Detours focuses on the artist’s career from 1918 until 1923, when he began teaching at the Bauhaus, the pre-eminent school of modernist art and design in Europe. During this period, Moholy-Nagy experimented with several different styles until he arrived at a style of geometrical abstraction for which he is best known and which defined the better part of his career. The exhibition considers Moholy-Nagy’s interactions with artists and writers in Budapest, Vienna, and Berlin and situates his work within their avant-garde circles just after the first world war. Works by other influential artists from Hungary, such as Kurt Schwitters and El Lissitsky, as well as émigré artists, with whom Moholy-Nagy interacted are included in the exhibition.

László Moholy-Nagy
Landscape (Bridge at Óbuda Hajógyár?), 1918-19
Oil on acidic composition board
Courtesy Hattula Moholy-Nagy