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Composition, from Meistermappe des Staatlichen Bauhauses (Masters' Portfolio of the Staatliches Bauhaus)

Composition, from Meistermappe des Staatlichen Bauhauses (Masters' Portfolio of the Staatliches Bauhaus)
lithograph in colors, on wove paper, 1923, signed in pencil, from the edition of 100, published by Staatliches Bauhaus, Weimar (Bauhausverlag G.m.b.H., Munich-Weimar), framed
Sheet: 15 x 11 1/4 in. (382 x 285 mm.)
Söhn 210-6; Weber 6.6
Special notice
On occasion, Christie's has a direct financial interest in the outcome of the sale of certain lots consigned for sale. This will usually be where it has guaranteed to the Seller that whatever the outcome of the auction, the Seller will receive a minimum sale price for the work. This is known as a minimum price guarantee. This is such a lot.

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Lot Essay

László Moholy-Nagy was a Hungarian artist and educator who was a leading figure in the Bauhaus school of art and design. He was highly influenced by constructivism and a strong advocate of the integration of technology and industry into the arts. The art critic Peter Schjeldahl called him "relentlessly experimental" [1] because of his pioneering work in painting, drawing, photography, collage, sculpture, film, theater, and writing.

Moholy-Nagy's graphic art was characterized by its experimentation with typography, photography, and other graphic elements to create dynamic and visually engaging compositions. He was particularly interested in the use of typography as a graphic element, and believed that it could be used to convey not only information, but also emotion and meaning. Het Overzicht, from 1924, is a prime example of his ground-breaking approach.

Moholy-Nagy's involvement with printmaking was never as extensive as his design work or photography, although he did make several small geometric woodcuts, linoleum cuts, and drypoints between 1919 and 1925, and this sale is unprecedented in featuring no fewer than eleven of these (Lots 69-79). "His most monumental print project was Constructions (Konstruktionen), a relatively rare example of Constructivist printmaking. It was the last of six portfolios by different artists published in 1923 by the bookseller Ludwig Ey in conjunction with Eckart von Sydow, artistic director of the Kestner-Gesellschaft, a contemporary art institute founded in Hannover in 1916. Constructions' compositions of intersecting planes and floating shapes are related to Moholy-Nagy's abstract paintings and his groundbreaking kinetic assemblage of metal and transparent plastic, Light-Space Modulator (1922–30)."

Starr Figura, in Deborah Wye, Artists and Prints: Masterworks from The Museum of Modern Art, New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 2004, p. 83.

[1] Schjeldahl, Peter, Moholy‐Nagy Champion of a Doomed and Heroic Cause, The New York Times, March 8, 1970.

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