AL 3
László Moholy-Nagy (American, 1895-1946)
Not on View

While stationed in Vienna during World War I, László Moholy-Nagy discovered the Constructivism of Kazimir Malevich, El Lissitzky and Naum Gabo. Their abstract works featured stripped-down geometric forms, often made with industrial materials. Soon after, the Hungarian moved to Germany and began teaching at the Bauhaus, the highly influential German school that integrated craft with fine arts. There he became the head of the metal workshop and experimented with such materials as aluminum, chrome, nickel, glass and plastic. In AL 3, so named because it was the artist’s third painting on aluminum, Moholy-Nagy sprayed on paint using an airbrush. This technique eliminated nearly all signs of the artist’s hand, leaving only the velvety dispersion of color. Though the central circle faded from blue to rust little more than a decade after the painting was completed, the artist remarked of the change, “I must confess that I like the picture much better as it is now.”


  • Artist Name: László Moholy-Nagy (American, 1895-1946)
  • Title: AL 3
  • Date: 1926
  • Medium: Oil, industrial paints, and pencil on aluminum
  • Dimensions: 15-3/4 x 15-3/4 in. (40 x 40 cm)
  • Credit Line: Norton Simon Museum, The Blue Four Galka Scheyer Collection
  • Accession Number: P.1953.293
  • Copyright: © Norton Simon Museum

Object Information

The artist, given as gift 16 August 1928 to;
Galka Scheyer;
Pasadena Art Institute, Pasadena, 1953-1954;
Pasadena Art Museum, Pasadena,1954-1975;
Norton Simon Museum, 1975.

The Paintings of Moholy-Nagy: The Shape of Things to Come

  • Santa Barbara Museum of Art, 2015-06-07 to 2015-08-30

Moholy-Nagy: Future Present

  • Art Institute of Chicago, 2016-10-02 to 2017-01-03
  • Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 2017-02-12 to 2017-06-18


  • Mills College Art Gallery, 1940-08 to


  • Los Angeles, Stendahl Art Galleries, 1941-04 to

Abstract Art Show

  • Mills College Art Gallery, 1939-10-19 to 1939-12-03

The Galka E. Scheyer Collection

  • Mills College Art Gallery, 1961-01-10 to 1961-02-19

From Europe to California: Galka Scheyer and the Avant-Garde

  • Norton Simon Museum, 2003-05-16 to 2003-10-13

Paths to Abstraction: Pioneers of Early 20th Century Painting

  • Norton Simon Museum, 1989-01-19 to 1990-01-14

50 years bauhaus

  • Stuttgart, Wurttembergischer Kunstverein, 1968-05-05 to 1968-07-28
  • Royal Academy of Arts (Great Britain), 1968-09-19 to 1968-10-27
  • Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, 1968-11-30 to 1969-01-01
  • Paris, Musee National d'Art Moderne, 1969-04-01 to 1969-06-22
  • Illinois Institute of Technology, 1969-08-25 to 1969-09-26
  • Toronto, Art Gallery of Ontario, 1969-12-05 to 1970-02-01
  • Pasadena Art Museum, 1970-03-16 to 1970-04-26
  • Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, 1970 to 1971
  • Tokyo, National Museum of Modern Art, 1971 to 1971

The Galka Scheyer Collection: Klee, Nolde, Jawlensky, Moholy-Nagy, Schmidt-Rottluff, Schwitters, Archipenko, Kandinsky, Lissitzky, Feininger, Kirchner, Dix_1

  • La Jolla, Art Center in La Jolla, 1960-07-05 to 1960-08-14

Permanent and Loan Collection, 1973

  • Pasadena Museum of Modern Art, 1973-01-30 to 1973-12-31

The Spirit of Modernism: Galka Scheyer in the New World

  • Norton Simon Museum, 1994-11-17 to 1996-01-14
  • The Blue Four Galka Scheyer Collection, Norton Simon Museum of Art at Pasadena, 1976, no. 417 pp. 151, 153
  • Masterpieces from the Norton Simon Museum, 1989, p. 192
  • Barnett, Vivian Endicott, The Blue Four Collection at the Norton Simon Museum, 2002, no. 395 pp. 388-390
  • Hoover, Kenneth, The Elements of Social Scientific Thinking; 8e ISBN: 0-534-61411-6, 2004, Cover
  • Matthew Witkovsky, Moholy-Nagy: Future Present, 2016, Figure 066 p. #81
  • Gilbert Holzgang, Galka Scheyer : Ein Leben für Kunst und Kreativität, 2023, p. 179 (ill.)

Additional Artwork by Artist

Construction László Moholy-Nagy 1923
Untitled (Ohne Titel) László Moholy-Nagy 1922-1923

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