One of my most favorite artists of all time, the Jewish-Hungarian aristocrat, turned an influential figure in the European avant-garde and one of the most legendary design educators of the 20th century, László Moholy-Nagy, will be at the subject of an upcoming comprehensive retrospective at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum this spring. Experimenting with new art forms and creating everything from movie sets, to cameraless photography, to painting and sculpture, to his famed light machine, a device with moving parts meant to have light projected through it in order to create mobile light reflections and shadows on nearby surface (above), Moholy-Nagy was a true visionary. He represented the modernist daring and the heroic story of the Bauhaus, perhaps more than any of his pears, the teachers at the Weimar-based art school. As a true modernist, art, to him, was first of all a tool to create a better, more progressive world. Upon immigrating to this country in 1937, he became the director of the New Bauhaus in Chicago, and then founded the Institute of Design, which later became a part of Illinois Institute of Technology. The show at the Guggenheim, “Moholy-Nagy: Future Present,” comes to examine his full career, and to allow admirers like me to enjoy the work of the man who has inspired so many to love and create design.
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