László Moholy–Nagy (American, born Hungary, 18951946)
Gelatin silver print; 9 1/4 x 6 3/4 in. (23.5 x 17.1 cm)
Ford Motor Company Collection, Gift of Ford Motor Company and John C. Waddell, 1987 (1987.1100.499)
Moholy-Nagy was a central figure at the Bauhaus in Weimar and Dessau from 1923 to 1928 and at the New Bauhaus (later the Institute of Design) in Chicago from 1937 until his death. As both an artist and educator, Moholy-Nagy used photography as a means of challenging conventions of visual perception and representation. In this overhead view of a ship's gangplank, the unusual vantage point transforms the visual field into a relatively flat, abstract composition, structured by dynamic diagonals and punctuated by the bright white circles of the sailors' hats.