Laszlo Moholy-Nagy: Painting and Bio-politics 公开

Gibson, Stephanie Michelle (2012)

Permanent URL: https://etd.library.emory.edu/concern/etds/7w62f8608?locale=zh
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Abstract

Abstract
Laszlo Moholy-Nagy: Painting and Bio-politics
This thesis examines the inherent contradiction between Laszlo Moholy-Nagy's social
and political ideology and his visual art and attempts to offer possible solutions to resolve it.
Through an examination of his art and claims I show how Moholy-Nagy's paintings do not
function according to his biological theory and I discuss ways in which his abstract pictures can
function by viewing his art and claims separately. Moholy-Nagy began his artistic career
painting "loosely" realist pictures; however in 1919 he felt that representational pictures were
compromised in their efforts to visually re-build society. Paradoxically, he decided to move from
realist art to abstract painting in hopes of awakening the senses of the viewer and thus
alleviating the pain of humanity. It is through abstract art that he felt he could produce what he
called "biological happiness" for a suffering society and thus rebuild society. Moholy-Nagy felt
that in order to do this, art must appeal to the basic laws of a man's being. Although he attempted
to penetrate the inner workings of man and restore balance to man's life through his abstract
work, it is hard to believe that this actually occurs. Despite the fact that Moholy-Nagy moved
from representational painting to abstract art to support his claims of political revolution, his bio-
politics and thus his abstract pictures in fact weaken his argument. Moholy-Nagy's belief about
biology undoubtedly carries serious implications. This thesis challenges these implications and
offers alternate ways to view Moholy-Nagy's work.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents


Introduction……………………………… 1
Part II……………………………………….. 2
Part III……………………………………… 12
Part IV………………………………………. 26
Bibliography……………………………….34




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