19 may, 2023 – 20 august, 2023

László Moholy-Nagy

Light play

The exhibition is dedicated to the photographic and cinematographic practice of pioneering multidisciplinary artist László Moholy-Nagy. The 68 works in the exhibition (including photography, photograms, photomontage and moving image) represent a range of work from his formal experiments to personal documentation, showcasing a different side of the artist, who has historically been known more for his painting, sculpture and design.

About the exhibition

In his photographic practice, Moholy-Nagy prioritised the study of light, the fundamental element of photography. His aim was to ‘paint with light’ and he did this by means of photograms, in which objects are ‘painted’ on light-sensitive paper by a light source and casting shadows. In this way, the artist created photographic images without a camera, purely through the manipulation of light and shadow. These new perspectives and camera techniques transformed photography from a mere documentary medium into an art form with a unique aesthetic, depicting new visual sensations.

The exhibition brings together Moholy-Nagy’s first experiments in photomontage (photoplastics, as he called it), made between 1922 and 1945, photograms, personal images taken on trips to Europe and the United States, colour photographs from his later career (including rare images of the artist himself and previously unseen photographs of his own sculptures) and two films.

Chairs at Margate, 1935 © Estate of the László Moholy-Nagy a Artists Rights Society

The enemy of photography is the convention, the fixed rules of "how to do". The salvation of photography comes from the experiment.

László Moholy-Nagy

Olly and Dolly Sisters, 1925 © Estate of the László Moholy-Nagy a Artists Rights Society