-+ 29 9 -» problems of light and colour photography, film the vital significance of modern art between the artistic evolution of our age and the occult forces of the Zeitgeist which permeate our daily lives has rarely been so impressively demonstrated as in this book. from his earliest articles in »ma«, moholy-nagy's contribution has been characterized by a persistent endeavour to fathom the creative potentialities of light and colour, all the same he has always been eager to apply his discoveries to the practical problems of life. there is hardly any field of artistic creation that moholy-nagy has not investigated. in many of them his influence has proved authoritative, his exhibitions, typographical work, publicity lay-outs, light-displays and stage-sets (»the tales of hoff- mann«, 1929; »madame butterfly*, 1931; and piscator's »kaufmann von berlin«, 1931) amply substantiate this claim. moholy-nagy has exercised a decisive influence on photography, where he has systematised its potentialities and in some directions actually ex tended its scope, from the first he recognised that light in itself must be regarded as a medium of form. it is from this angle that his whole preoccupation with photography and the film should be judged, moholy- nagy saw that photography offered the possibility of expanding the existing limits of natural reproduction, and that in spite of its imperfections the camera was a means of increasing the range and precision of visual per ception (i. e. in the arresting of movement, bird's-eye and worm's-eye views, etc.). i well remember how, during a holiday we spent together at belle- ile-en-mer in 1925, moholy-nagy consistently ignored the usual perspectives and took all his snapshots upwards or downwards, a few years later the surprising artistic effects of foreshortening and of converging vertical lines had become part of the stock-in-trade of every up-to-date photographer, in »malerei, fotografie, film* (bauhaus-bücher no. viii, munich, 1925) moholy- nagy developed many stimulating suggestions, and defined the whole pro vince of creative work in light-sensitive media, from ordinary to camera-less photography (which enables the concrete shapes of objects to be disinte grated into graduations of light and shade), and reflectional light-displays to photo-montage and the film »dynamik der groftsfadt* 1921; »marseilles vieux port* 1929; ^lichtspiel schwarz-weib-grau* 1931; irgrobstadtzigeuner* 1932; »kongreft für neues bauen«, athens 1933). moholy-nagy's painting is the vital thread linking all his manifold activities, there is no break in its development proceeding in a consistent line from his first publications up to the present day. nor is this all, for today he is feeling the need to resort more and more to this spontaneous fixation of artistic vision. these pictures with their clear, optimistic attitude are the harbingers of that long-term development, for which a few hundred people dispersed through out the modern world are today preparing the foundations. the selection of any one single artist for separate study cannot hope to indicate the creative strength of our age, since this resides paramountly in its manifold manifestations, which despite their diversity share the same funda mental consciousness of modern civilization, nevertheless, the editor of this review was right in choosing moholy- nagy as an outstanding example, since his work serves as an admirable reminder to the public that the basic laws of abstract i. e. non-representational art have their root in the bed-rock of contemporary realities.

Telehor cs | 1936 | | page 31