Moholy-Nagy and the Materiality of Industry
When the newly emigrated László Moholy-Nagy encountered Chicago’s exhilarating built environment and its exceptional space of commerce—with its framework for the production, distribution, and movement of vast quantities of goods—he had already been evoking, from his earliest days in 1920s Berlin, the rationalization of industry for art. In Chicago, Moholy re-instigated the primacy of the three-dimensional object (at the new Bauhaus and in his own practice) and its representations, as surface and as light. This lecture seeks to understand Moholy’s engagement with Chicago, and the US, by tracing a long arc across Moholy’s investigations in ephemeral surface effects and the materiality of industry.
Respondent: Liesl Olson, The Newberry Library
The Chicago: City of Commerce and Design, 1890-1990 Seminar is part of Art Design Chicago, an exploration of Chicago’s art and design legacy, an initiative of the Terra Foundation for American Art with presenting partner The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation.
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