39
39
László Moholy-Nagy
E-BILD (E PICTURE)
Estimate
800,0001,000,000
LOT SOLD. 790,000 USD
JUMP TO LOT
39
László Moholy-Nagy
E-BILD (E PICTURE)
Estimate
800,0001,000,000
LOT SOLD. 790,000 USD
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

The Collection of A. Alfred Taubman: Masterworks

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New York

László Moholy-Nagy
1895 - 1946
E-BILD (E PICTURE)
Signed Moholy-Nagy (lower right)
Oil and pencil on canvas
26 by 20 in.
66 by 51 cm
Painted in 1921.

Please note that in the print catalogue for this sale, this lot appears as number 39T.


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The authenticity of this work has been verbally confirmed by Hattula Moholy-Nagy.

Provenance

Dr. Hermann Bode, Steinhude, Germany

Sale: Hauswedell & Nolte, Hamburg, June 10,1988, lot 866

Private Collection (acquired at the above sale and sold: Sotheby's, London, June 19, 2013, lot 24)

Acquired at the above sale by A. Alfred Taubman

Exhibited

Berlin, Galerie der Sturm, Moholy-Nagy / Peri, 1922, no. 1

Hanover, Provinzialmuseum, Kabinett der Abstrakten, 1926-28

Hanover, Niedersächsische Landesgalerie (on loan after 1950)

Hanover, Kestner-Gesellschaft, Zeitgenössische Kunst aus hannoverschem Privatbesitz, 1954, no. 117

Hanover, Kunstverein, Die zwanziger Jahre in Hannover, 1962, no. J.3, illustrated in the catalogue

Hanover, Kunstverein, Die Pelikan-Kunstsammlung aus dem Besitz des Hauses Günther Wagner, Hannover, Pelikan-Werke und der Familie Beindorff, 1963, no. 87, illustrated in the catalogue

Hanover, Sprengel Museum (on loan from 1979)

Hanover, Sprengel Museum, Malerei und Plastik des 20. Jahrhunderts, 1985, no. 388, illustrated in the catalogue

Hanover, Sprengel Museum, Die abstrakten Hannover - Internationale Avantgarde 1927-1935, 1987

Literature

Ludwig Schreiner, Die Gemälde des Neunzehnten und Zwanzigsten Jahrhunderts in der Niedersächsischen Landesgalerie, Hannover, Munich, 1973, no. 720, mentioned p. 339

Bernd Rau (ed.), Kunstmuseum Hannover mit Sammlung Sprengel, Hanover, 1979, no. 547, mentioned p. 260

Krisztina Passuth, Moholy-Nagy, Paris, 1984, no. 35, illustrated in colour p. 109 (incorrectly catalogued as belonging to Kunstmuseum, Hanover)

Catalogue Note

The present work by Moholy-Nagy was exhibited at Herwarth Walden’s legendary Galerie der Sturm in Berlin in 1922, and it was shortly after this that Walter Gropius, the founder of the Bauhaus, asked him to join the academy. Painted in 1921, E-Bild displays the artist’s characteristic innovative boldness, establishing a wonderful dialogue between the black L-shaped bar, the red and yellow vertical bars and the letter E placed on top of the composition. Moholy-Nagy firmly believed that the art of the present must parallel contemporary reality in order to communicate meaning to its public, surrounded by new technological advancements. He therefore considered traditional, figurative painting obsolete and turned to pure geometric abstraction filtered through the stylistic influence of Russian Constructivists such as Malevich and El Lissitzky.

El Lissitzky was charged with organising Kabinett der Abstrakten, a long-term exhibition that took place at the Provinzialmuseum in Hannover from autumn 1926 until February 1928. The present work took pride of place alongside masterpieces of Contructivism and avant-garde abstract paintings and sculptures by artists including Mondrian, Léger, Archipenko and Schwitters. This seminal exhibition was reconstructed in 1987 by the Sprengel Museum.

Moholy-Nagy’s vision of a nonrepresentational art, consisting of pure visual elements of color, texture and balance of forms, was a constant throughout his career. He attempted to define an objective science of essential forms, colors, and materials, which would promote a more unified social environment. In his book Vision in Motion he sought to explain his underlying beliefs in the function of art: "Art is the most complex, vitalising and civilising of human actions. Thus it is of biological necessity. Art sensitizes man to the best that is imminent in him through an intensified expression involving many layers of experience. Out of them art forms a unified manifestation, like dreams which are composed of the most diverse source material subconsciously crystallized. It tries to produce a balance of the social, intellectual and emotional existence; a synthesis of attitudes and opinions, fears and hope" (L. Moholy-Nagy, Vision in Motion, Chicago, 1947, p. 28).


The Collection of A. Alfred Taubman: Masterworks

|
New York