Moholy-Nagy played a key role at the Bauhaus in both Weimar and Dessau from 1923 to 1928, and at the New Bauhaus (later the Institute of Design) in Chicago from 1937 until is death in 1946. His major contribution to avant-garde photography was the new vision (das neue Sehen), in which he advocated a new approach to the medium, proposing the use of such techniques as the manipulation of light in cameraless photograms. Moholy-Nagy made this image by placing commonplace domestic objects on a sheet of photographic paper and exposing it to light. The resulting spatial, tonal, and gestural qualities of these abstract compositions challenged traditional modes of visual apprehension and representation.
Dancing on the Roof label text:
Although Moholy did not invent the photogram technique--which involved placing objects on photographic paper and exposing them to light--he made extraordinarily innovative use of it. In works such as this one, he delighted in the play of abstract forms in indeterminate space and the striking contrasts between the deepest black and the brightest white.
Inscription: Signed and inscribed on print, verso LR: "Moholy-Nagy // Fotogramm // 1925"; inscribed in pencil on print, verso CR: "original"; inscribed on print, verso LL corner: "6. [encircled]";
William Larson, Philadelphia, by 1975; [Robert Miller Gallery, New York]; John C. Waddell (April 13, 1984)