62
62
László Moholy-Nagy
Z IV
Estimate
1,200,0001,800,000
LOT SOLD. 1,030,000 USD
JUMP TO LOT
62
László Moholy-Nagy
Z IV
Estimate
1,200,0001,800,000
LOT SOLD. 1,030,000 USD
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

The Collection of A. Alfred Taubman: Masterworks

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New York

László Moholy-Nagy
1895 - 1946
Z IV
Signed Moholy-Nagy and titled (on the reverse)
Oil on canvas
26 3/8 by 33 7/8 in.
67 by 86 cm
Painted in 1923.

Please note that in the print catalogue for this sale, this lot appears as number 62T.


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

Provenance

Galerie Klihm, Munich

Galleria Galatea, Turin 

Private Collection (acquired from the above in 1975 and sold: Sotheby's, London, June 19, 2007, lot 32)

Acquired at the above sale by A. Alfred Taubman

Exhibited

New York, Kleemann Gallery, Moholy-Nagy, 1957, no. 15

Mannheim, Städtische Kusthalle Mannheim, Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, 1961

London, Marlborough Fine Art, Painters of the Bauhaus, 1962, no. 150 (with incorrect measurements)

London, Marlborough Fine Art, Moholy-Nagy, 1968, no. 8, illustrated in color in the catalogue (with incorrect measurements)

Chicago, Museum of Contemporary Art, László Moholy-Nagy, 1969, no. 12

Genoa, Accademia di Belle Arti e Palazzo Reale, Immagine per la città, 1972

Literature

Krisztina Passuth, Moholy-Nagy, Paris, 1984, no. 135, illustrated p. 207 (with incorrect measurements)

Catalogue Note

Painted in 1923, Z IV displays Moholy-Nagy's characteristic innovative boldness expressed by line and color. He establishes a wonderful dialogue between the black diagonal bar and the abstract ray of light intersected by vertical black lines and three colored dots. Moholy-Nagy firmly believed that the art of the present he represents contemporary reality in order to communicate meaning to the public, in the age of rapid 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 Lissitsky. In the present work Moholy-Nagy explored a way of representing light on painted canvas: the colored circles appear to be translucent as one plane overlaps the next and their hues shift accordingly. These intersecting, transparent forms read as converging beams of light.        

Moholy-Nagy’s vision of a nonrepresentational art, consisting of pure visual elements of color, texture, light 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 hopes" (L. Moholy-Nagy, Vision in Motion, Chicago, 1947, p. 28).



The Collection of A. Alfred Taubman: Masterworks

|
New York