Documentary
The New Bauhaus
The life & Legacy of Moholy-Nagy
This video is no longer available.
Screened on 15/06/2020.

An odyssey through the life and legacy of Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, the innovative artist and educator whose pioneering approach to integrating technology into design continues to influence and inspire.

In the 1920s, rising artist László Moholy-Nagy taught at the revolutionary Bauhaus school in Weimar, Germany, alongside luminaries like Paul Klee, Josef Albers, Anni Albers, Gunta Stolzl, Wassily Kandinsky, and Marcel Breuer. An upstart within this esteemed group, Moholy established himself as a visionary, and the approach he developed while teaching became the ethos of his work: training artists to live “happier lives in modernity.” Forced into exile by the Nazis, Moholy moved to Chicago with his two daughters and his second wife, Sibyl Moholy-Nagy, where he found himself inspired by the sense of re-invention in the city. Initially at the New Bauhaus and ultimately through the Institute of Design, Moholy challenged students to create systemic, human-centered design. Motivated by the challenge of creating within the limitations of the Great Depression and then World War II, Moholy’s embrace of artistic versatility and technological possibility continues to reverberate in the artworld today. Objects that are now ubiquitous in our culture, such as the Dove soap bar, the Honey Bear, and the cover of the first issue of Playboy magazine were designed by students and alumni of The New Bauhaus. Graduates of the Institute of Design became renowned fine art photographers and pioneers of digital design in the internet’s early days. Moholy’s own output as an artist remained “relentlessly experimental”, with pioneering work created in a range of mediums including painting, photography, typography, collage, sculpture, and film. His central lessons as a teacher were reflected in his own work: the thought behind creation was as important as the work itself. Unfortunately his creative production was cut short by his untimely death at age 51 from leukemia, but his legacy lives on in his students that now teach his approach themselves, providing inspiration to anyone using art to make sense of the world. As the former dean of the Institute of Design Patrick Whitney said of Moholy’s teachings, “the attitude and approach to working was more important than what you actually produced; you had to produce something to be of value to the world, but for personal development it wasn’t that you were a maker of this object, it’s that you were a maker of yourself and you lived differently through your work.”

Duration:

1:28:46   

Production year:

2019   

Credits:

AN OPENDOX PRODUCTION
IN ASSOCIATION WITH AJNA FILMS

THE NEW BAUHAUS

DIRECTOR
Alysa Nahmias

WRITERS
Alysa Nahmias & Miranda Yousef

PRODUCERS
Petter Ringbom
Erin Wright
Alysa Nahmias

EDITOR
Miranda Yousef

CINEMATOGRAPHER
Petter Ringbom

MUSIC
Dennis McNany

DESIGN & ANIMATION
Petter Ringbom

EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS
Marquise Stillwell
Lynda Weinman
Grace Colby

CO-EXECUTIVE PRODUCER
Walter Nathan

CO-PRODUCERS
Elise Jaffe + Jeffrey Brown
Ashley Lukasik

ADVISORS
Barry Bergdoll
Ellen Lupton
Hal Foster
Thomas Dyja
Sharon Johnston and Mark Lee
Hattula Moholy-Nagy
Elizabeth Siegel