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
Pasadena Art Institute, Pasadena, 1953-1954;
Pasadena Art Museum, Pasadena,1954-1975;
Norton Simon Museum, 1975.
- Matthew Witkovsky, Moholy-Nagy: Future Present,2016, Figure 066 p. #81
- Masterpieces from the Norton Simon Museum,1989, p. 192
- The Blue Four Galka Scheyer Collection, Norton Simon Museum of Art at Pasadena,no. 417 pp. 151, 153
- Barnett, Vivian Endicott, The Blue Four Collection at the Norton Simon Museum,no. 395 pp. 388-390
- Hoover, Kenneth, The Elements of Social Scientific Thinking; 8e ISBN: 0-534-61411-6,2004, Cover
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