A Modern View of Laszlo Moholy-Nagy's Legacy
Regarded as one of the key innovators in both fine arts and design in the beginning of the 20th century, Laszlo Moholy-Nagy opened up new ways of thinking about visual imagery. His experimentation across multiple mediums such as photography, typography, sculpture, painting, industrial design and printmaking led to graphic design work characterized by bold typeface in combination with striking photography.
The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum held a comprehensive retrospective of Moholy-Nagy's work early this year in collaboration with the Art Institute of Chicago and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum started collecting his paintings, works on paper, and sculpture in 1929 by the Solomon and his adviser Hilla Rebay. The exhibition includes a large scale of photographic reproductions as well as design replicas.
In honor of his conttributions to the design world, Willem Henri Lucas, a professor of design at UCLA, was invited by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum to create a poster inspired by Moholi-Nagy. Lucas used 21st century tools to create a collage with random objects images manipulated in Photshop inspired by the Moholy-Nagy's collage technique with layered imagery. The contrast between red and blue and the black and white background gives movement to the image, while the circles shaped as an egg provide authenticity to the image.
Of all artists and designers of his generation, Moholy-Nagy is the one who comes closest to anticipating the new worlds that were opened up to graphic design in the 20th and the 21st century. I will always remember his statement that typography must be communication in its most intense form.