Moholy-Nagy Future Present Matthew S. Witkovsky, Carol S. Eliel, Karole Vail, Julie Barten, Sylvie Pénichon, Carol Stringari, Stephanie D'Alessandro, Carol S. Eliel, Jennifer King, Olivier Lugon, Elizabeth Siegel, Karole Vail, Matthew S. Witkovsky

Publication date:
07 Jun 2016
Art Institute of Chicago
324 pages: 305 x 229mm
504 color + 7 b/w illus.


An unprecedented study of an important 20th-century artist and his diverse body of work

This exceptional book offers a fresh and extensive examination of the work of pioneering artist László Moholy-Nagy (1895–1946). The first major American survey of his oeuvre in nearly a half century and the most extensive English-language book on the artist in thirty years, the catalogue offers an integrated presentation of Moholy’s production across a range of art forms including painting, sculpture, photography, graphic design, film, advertising, and theater.
Distinguished scholars offer new insights into Moholy's materials and working methods; the relation among writing, administration, and art making in his practice; and his influence on contemporary art. Particular emphasis is given to Moholy's American years and his leadership of the Chicago Bauhaus as well as his reception as a painter.

Over 300 works are illustrated in color, including the artist's early paintings and photograms, his whimsical photomontages---all of which are reproduced together here for the first time---and late works in Plexiglas. Beautifully designed and produced, with a PVC plastic jacket printed on the inside and a foil stamped casewrap, the book is a marvelous tribute to this phenomenally innovative artist. 

Matthew S. Witkovsky is Richard and Ellen Sandor Chair and Curator, Department of Photography, the Art Institute of Chicago. Carol Eliel is curator of modern art at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Karole Vail is associate curator, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum.

Future Present is a surprisingly accessible and enjoyable exhibition about one man’s continuous experimentation . . . offering a vision of a modernist who saw a populist potential in art and technology.”—Allison Meier, Hyperallergic

“[This] extremely handsome catalog is the one place to find a book in English that covers the range of Moholy’s very diverse career. . . . It is profusely illustrated and beautifully produced.”—Andrea Kirsch, Artblog