Moholy-Nagy: Future Present

Exhibition Website

May 27 2016 - Sep 7 2016

Guggenheim Museum

New York City, NY

The first comprehensive retrospective of the work of László Moholy-Nagy (1895–1946) to appear in the United States in nearly fifty years, this long overdue presentation will reveal a utopian artist who believed that art could work hand-in-hand with technology for the betterment of humanity.

The exhibition will present an unparalleled opportunity to examine the career of this pioneering painter, photographer, sculptor, and filmmaker as well as graphic, exhibition, and stage designer, who was also an influential teacher at the Bauhaus, a prolific writer, and later the founder of Chicago’s Institute of Design. Among his radical innovations were experimentation with cameraless photography; the use of industrial materials in painting and sculpture; research with light, transparency, and movement; work at the forefront of abstraction; and the fluidity with which he moved between the fine and applied arts.

The exhibition will include approximately 300 collages, drawings, ephemera, films, paintings, photograms, photographs, photomontages, and sculptures, including works from public and private collections across Europe and the United States, some of which have never before been shown publicly in the U.S. Also on display will be the Room of the Present, a contemporary fabrication of an exhibition space originally conceived by Moholy-Nagy in 1930. It will include aspects of his exhibition and product design, including a replica of his iconic kinetic sculpture Light Prop for an Electric Stage (conceived 1922–30). Though never realized during his lifetime, the Room of the Present illustrates Moholy’s belief in the power of images and various means by which to view them—a highly relevant paradigm in today’s constantly shifting and evolving technological world.

Credit: Exhibition Overview from the The Guggenheim Museum and LACMA websites

Whether you go or not, the exhibition catalog, Moholy-Nagy: Future Present, is the first major survey of Moholy-Nagy’s oeuvre in nearly five decades. It presents his work across an enormous range of art forms—including painting, sculpture, photography, graphic design, film, advertising, and theater. More than 300 works are illustrated in color, including the artist’s early paintings and photograms.

Moholy-Nagy: Future Present

  • European
  • 20th Century
  • László Moholy-Nagy

Exhibition Venues & Dates