The Hungarian artist László Moholy-Nagy (1895–1946) became known in Germany through his
seminal work as a teacher at the Staatliches Bauhaus in Weimar and Dessau (1923–1928). His
pioneering theories on art as a testing ground for new forms of expression and their application to
all spheres of modern life are still of influence today. Presenting about 170 works – paintings,
photographs and photograms, sculptures and films, as well as stage set designs and typographical
projects – the retrospective encompasses all phases of his oeuvre
8 October 2009 – 7 February 2010
On the occasion of the ninetieth anniversary of the foundation of the Bauhaus, it offers a survey of the enormous range of Moholy- Nagy’s creative output to the public for the first time since the last major exhibition of his work in Kassel in 1991. Never having been built before 2009, the artist’s spatial design Raum der Gegenwart (Room of Today), which brings together many of his theories, will be realized in the context of the exhibition.
The “László Moholy-Nagy Retrospective” is sponsored by the Hessische Kulturstiftung and receives additional support from the Fazit-Stiftung.
No other teacher at the Bauhaus in Weimar and Dessau, nor nearly any other artist of the 1920s in Germany, an epoch rich in utopian designs, developed such a wide range of ideas and activities as László Moholy-Nagy, who was born in Bácsborsód in Southern Hungary in 1895. His oeuvre bears evidence to the fact that he considered painting and film, photography and sculpture, stage set design, drawing, and the photogram to be of equal importance. He continually fell back upon these means of expression, using them alternately, varying them, and taking them up again as parts of a universal concept whose pivot was the alert, curious, and unrestrained experimental mind of the “multimedia” artist himself. Long before people began to talk about “media design” and professional “marketing,” Moholy-Nagy worked in these fields, too – as a guiding intellectual force in terms of new technical, design and educational instruments. “All design areas of life are closely interlinked”, he wrote about 1925 and was, despite his motto insisting on “the unity of art and technology,” no uncritical admirer of the machine age, but rather a humanist who was open-minded about technology. His basic attitude as an artist, which exemplifies the idealistic and utopian thinking of an entire era, may be summed up as aimed at improving the quality of life, avoiding specialization, and employing science and technology for the enrichment and heightening of human experience.