László Moholy-Nagy

Artist: Lucia Moholy (British, born Austria-Hungary, 1894–1989)

Date: 1925–26

Medium: Gelatin silver print

Dimensions: 25.6 x 20.0 cm (10 1/16 x 7 7/8 in.)

Classification: Photographs

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

Accession Number: 1987.1100.69

Rights and Reproduction: © 2017 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York


Lucia Moholy was one of the most prolific photographers at the Bauhaus between 1923 and 1928, while her husband, László Moholy-Nagy, was an instructor there. For both, photography was not simply a transparent window onto objective reality but a specific technology to be systematically explored in the modern spirit of exuberant experimentation. Here, illustrating the effect of selective focus, Moholy imprints his hand against the invisible picture plane that separates viewer and subject-a playful, disorienting gesture that collapses illusionistic depth into the concrete reality of the photographic image.