Eiffel Tower, Paris

Eiffel Tower, Paris


László Moholy-Nagy

(American, 1895-1946)

Gelatin silver print

Image: 28.1 x 21.1 cm (11 1/16 x 8 5/16 in.); Paper: 29.2 x 21 cm (11 1/2 x 8 1/4 in.); Matted: 55.9 x 45.7 cm (22 x 18 in.)

Dudley P. Allen Fund 1997.144



Eiffel Tower exemplifies László Moholy-Nagy's inventive curiosity and accomplished sense of design. Especially in images made between 1925 and 1930, the artist relied on unusual vantage points, distorted angles, extreme close-ups, and odd details. In this image, he was looking upward, using the iron framework of the Eiffel Tower to organize the complex composition. Moholy-Nagy's deft use of light and shadow turns the tower's familiar forms into intricate, abstract patterns of curved and straight lines moving in all directions. At this time, he began to use a Leica, a lightweight, portable camera that had just come on the market. This revolutionary camera enabled photographers to make spontaneous pictures with available light and thus helped Moholy-Nagy discover new ways to express the vitality, complexity, and immediacy of the 20th-century urban culture. A mulit-talented man, Moholy-Nagy was active as a painter, designer, filmmaker, theoretician, teacher, writer, and photographer. He was a pioneering advocate for combining traditional arts with 20th-century technology and taught at the Bauhaus in Germany from 1923 to 1928. After emigrating to the United States in 1937, he taught at the Institute of Design in Chicago, which he also directed until his death in 1946.

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Dudley P. Allen Fund

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