Moholy-Nagy exhibition

 

         As I walked in to the exhibition, the ensemble of how the works are set, and the mood that is created by dreamy imageries amazed me. Lazlo Moholy-Nagy is one of the members of avant-garde artists from early 20th century. He was the most enthusiastic and innovative artist of the time who tried to see photography. His main theme in art throughout his life was to develop the power and the ability of light that creates shapes. He questioned and studied all sorts of different approaches in art, and connections between art and technology.

It was very clear that he lived during the Bauhaus movement, and he was into that form of art. What stood out the most was how he used straight lines and figures in all of his work. The negative spaces on canvases and papers showed his careful decisions that the negative spaces cleverly worked as making the work so much stronger. Also, how he controlled his works not to be overdone. Because Bauhaus was invented after Art deco, and Moholy-Nagy was into Bauhaus, he was clearly following the famous saying “less is more”. For example, “Circle Segments” proves his philosophy in usage of negative space, and controlling himself in making art. The simply painted two hemispheres in black and white, and the clean raw negative space shows how much he cared about materials chosen, and smart decisions in harmonizing the material and art, just like the philosophy of Bauhaus movement.

A little bit later in Moholy-Nagy’s life as an artist, he started to avoid looking at photography as a reappearance of light. Then he stopped using cameras as his main tool, but he drew with light on photographic papers, by actually putting objects then exposing the light. Therefore, Photogram, one of his signature approaches to art, started to flourish in his later works. Also, he invited transparent papers into his art making, and the ‘transparency’ became another main element. Many collages at the exhibition showed how he managed ‘transparency’ and ‘photography’, and put them together in the most effective ways.

The exhibition was set in a mazelike structure. A lady at the exhibition who was seating on a wheelchair said “I can’t take this anymore. It feels like I am lost in a maze, and everything is confusing!” The exhibition sometimes led us to step on a staircase, and stand on a certain spot to look at the work in eyelevel. While spending time in the exhibition, the biggest impression it gave was Moholy-nagy’s intensions not to discriminate or divide a genre.

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