- László Moholy-Nagy
- CH P. Space Modulator or Iridescent Space Modulator
- Signed L. Moholy-Nagy and dated 40 (upper right); signed again L. Moholy-Nagy, dated 40 and inscribed CH P (40) (lower right)
- Oil and incised lines on Plexiglas
- 35 3/4 by 24 in.
- 90.8 by 61 cm
Thence by descent
The remarkable technique exhibited in the present composition helped establish Moholy-Nagy as a groundbreaking new media artist. His unrivaled experimentation was recognized by the renowned co-founder and first director of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Hilla von Rebay. In 1941, a year after the present work was completed, von Rebay gave Moholy-Nagy a solo exhibition at the Museum of Non-Objective Painting and would soon after become his most devoted collector.
The artist explained his fascination with plastics and how his experiments with these materials in the early 1930s transformed his approach to art forever. "In working with these materials, uniformly colored, opaque or transparent plastics, I made discoveries which were instrumental in changing my painting technique. This had inevitable repercussions on my thinking concerning light problems. To produce true, primary relationships, my former idea of an objective painting, was not the only reason for my use of smooth flat surfaces. It was also nearest to the transition of light into color and color into light, something like an objective texture invention for a delicate and evasive medium. By producing real radiant light effects through transparent dyes on plastic and through other means, one has no need for translating light into color by painting with pigment" (L. Moholy-Nagy, reprinted in Krisztina Passuth, Moholy-Nagy, London, 1985, pp. 382).