László Moholy-Nagy b. 1895, Borsód, Austria-Hungary; d. 1946, Chicago
MEDIUM Oil, sprayed paint, incised lines, and paper on Trolit
DIMENSIONS 55 1/16 x 24 5/16 inches (139.8 x 61.8 cm)
Painted on black Trolit, an early industrial plastic composed of cellulose nitrate, T1 was the first of László Moholy-Nagy’s paintings that Solomon R. Guggenheim purchased on the recommendation of his adviser, German-born artist Hilla Rebay. It entered his collection in November 1929. Moholy-Nagy was attracted to the highly polished black panel for its “strange optical effects: it looks as though the color were floating, almost without material effect, in a space in front of the plane to which it is in fact applied.” He emphasized this effect by spraying paint to create the circles, at the time an innovative appropriation of industrial machinery as an artistic tool.
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