Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Fotogramm

Artist:
László Moholy-Nagy (American (born Hungary), Borsod 1895–1946 Chicago, Illinois)
Date:
1926
Medium:
Gelatin silver print
Dimensions:
23.9 x 17.9 cm (9 7/16 x 7 1/16 in.)
Classification:
Photographs
Credit Line:
Ford Motor Company Collection, Gift of Ford Motor Company and John C. Waddell, 1987
Accession Number:
1987.1100.158
Rights and Reproduction:
© 2016 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Not on view
Moholy-Nagy played a key role at the Bauhaus in Weimar and Dessau as a painter, graphic artist, teacher, and impassioned advocate of avant-garde photography. He made this image without a camera by placing ordinary objects, including his hand and a paintbrush, on a sheet of photosensitized paper and exposing it to light. While this simple process was practiced by photography's founders in the nineteenth century and was later popularized as a child's amusement, avant-garde artists in the twentieth century revived the photogram technique as a means for exploring the optical and expressive properties of light. With this shadow-image of a hand and paintbrush, Moholy-Nagy ambitiously suggests that photography may incorporate, and even transcend, painting as the most vital medium of artistic expression in the modern age.
Inscription: Inscribed in ink on print, verso UL: "Moholy-nagy // Kameralose // fotografie (1926)"; inscribed in pencil on print, verso UC: "TOP"; inscribed in pencil on print, verso UC: "2 1/2 [line with arrows to left and right edges] // OVER ALL"; inscribed on circular paper label affixed to print, verso C: "38 3/4"; stamped in ink on print, verso LL [sideways]: "Popular // Photography // 608 S. DEARBORN ST. // CHICAGO"; stamped in ink on print, verso LL [sideways]: "ROTO PAGE 31 [number in pencil]" inscribed in pencil on print, verso LL [sideways]: "E [encircled]", "2A [encircled]"; inscribed in pencil on print, verso UL: "3 [encircled with arrow entering the circle]";
William Larson, Philadelphia, by 1975; [Robert Miller Gallery, New York]; John C. Waddell, New York (April 13, 1984)

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The New Vision: Photography between the World Wars. The Ford Motor Company Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art," September 23, 1989–December 31, 1989.

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. "The New Vision: Photography between the World Wars. The Ford Motor Company Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art," February 28, 1990–April 22, 1990.

Los Angeles County Museum of Art. "The New Vision: Photography between the World Wars. The Ford Motor Company Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art," May 10, 1990–July 15, 1990.

High Museum of Art. "The New Vision: Photography between the World Wars. The Ford Motor Company Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art," February 5, 1991–April 28, 1991.

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. "The New Vision: Photography between the World Wars. The Ford Motor Company Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art," June 8, 1991–August 4, 1991.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Johnson Gallery, Selections from the Collection 1," December 4, 1992–May 4, 1993.

IVAM, Centre Julio Gonzalez, Valencia. "The New Vision, IVAM, Centre Julio Gonzalez, Valencia," January 20, 1995–March 26, 1995.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Johnson Gallery, Selections from the Collection 33," September 23, 2002–February 23, 2003.

Smith College Museum of Art. "Bauhaus Modern," September 26, 2008–December 17, 2008.

Museum of Modern Art, New York. "Bauhaus 1919-1938," November 8, 2009–January 25, 2010.

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