László Moholy-Nagy: Vision in Motion

A hungarian artist and theoretic of photo and video art; tutor of a legendary Bauhaus school, a very famous avant-gardist of 19th century whose aesthetics were shaped by movements of Dadaism, Constructivism and Suprematism and one of the most innovative visionnaires, Moholy-Nagy has left a really valuable ideas behind his works.

Constantly experimenting with new media, the artist has overstepped the boundaries of the conventional view of art, questioning its’ traditional perception.

Moholy- Nagy’s KEY IDEAS were:

• Art should be transformed by the creators in order to satisfy human needs.

All artists should be designers, in a way and employ the potential of new technologies in their work; all creativity should obtain a purpose.

• Paying a great interest to qualities of space, time and light.

That can be clearly seen from his photogram works as well as plexiglass sculptures, where all those basic elements interact together.

• Stretching human capacity into new tasks.

That idea was encouraged by his interest in photography and the way that photodocumentation had changed the artists’ perception of reality. In a way, all of the artists had to learn to see again and re-evaluate history of art by creating a variety of new visions.

Amazingly, some of the quotes that were coined by him still make a great sence in a contemporary world, which proves the uniqueness and the great achievements of that artist.

“The reality of our century is technology: the invention, construction and maintenance of machines. To be a user of machines is to be of the spirit of this century. Machines have replaced the transcendental spiritualism of past eras.”
“There is design in organization of emotional experiences, in family life, in labor relations, in city planning, in working together as civilized human beings. Ultimately all problems of design merge into one great problem: ‘design for life’. In a healthy society this design for life will encourage every profession and vocation to play its part since the degree of relatedness in all their work gives to any civilization its quality. This implies that it is desirable that everyone should solve his special task with the wide scope of a true “designer” with the new urge to integrated relationships. It further implies that there is no hierarchy of the arts, painting photography, music, poetry, sculpture, architecture, nor of any other fields such as industrial design. They are equally valid departures toward the fusion of function and content in design.”
(Moholy-Nagy, Vision in Motion, 1947)

A significant amount of his work can be overseen in Bauhaus Archive Berlin until 12.1.2015.


Text: Tatiana Makrinova
Video: Jakub Kubica
Categories: Art