Artist: László Moholy-Nagy (American (born Hungary), Borsod 1895–1946 Chicago, Illinois)

Date: 1930

Medium: Gelatin silver print

Dimensions: 23.5 x 17.1 cm (9 1/4 x 6 3/4 in.)

Classification: Photographs

Credit Line: Ford Motor Company Collection, Gift of Ford Motor Company and John C. Waddell, 1987

Accession Number: 1987.1100.499

Rights and Reproduction: © 2016 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York


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.