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László Moholy-Nagy at The Isokon Gallery

The Isokon building in Hampstead has been home to many creative people: Agatha Christie, Nicholas Monsarrat, Adrian Stokes and, of course, leading lights in the Bauhaus movement, three of whom, Marcel Breuer, Walter Gropius and László Moholy-Nagy are to be honoured with a Blue Plaque, courtesy of English heritage.

There is no better time to visit this icon of modernist housing, as an exhibition devoted to Moholy-Nagy is taking place there until 28th October, 2018. The installation explores the multi-media artist’s work, adding to the house’s rich history of providing sanctuary to Bauhaus émigrés from Germany.

Hungarian-born Moholy-Nagy was a champion of the integration of technology and industry into the arts, thus promoting ‘a new unity of art and technology in the service of humanity’. Influenced by Russian constructivism, he spent three years in Berlin, honing his abstract style, experimenting with mixed media and developing his distinctive photogram style, in which everyday objects transform into luminous forms that seem to float through a dark expanse.

His work caught the attention of Bauhaus founder Walter Gropius, resulting in Moholy-Nagy becoming a professor at the school and a pivotal member of the movement before his move to Britain and the Isokon building in 1935. In 1937, Moholy-Nagy moved to Chicago to teach at the New Bauhaus school (now the IIT Institute of Design) where the artist continued to teach, paint, photograph and publish until he died in !946.

As well as the Moholy-Nagy installation, the Isokon Gallery’s permanent exhibition tells the fascinating story of one of the first modernist buildings in Britain as well as many of the famous residents.

The Isokon Gallery
Lawn Road