Moholy-Nagy Photograms

Untitled – 1925-1928

This project is one of the many photograms designed by Laszlo Moholy-Nagy. It was designed sometime between 1925 and 1928 after he met writer, editor, and photographer Lucia Schulz. Around this time, Laszlo became extremely interested and invested in photography and in the qualities of design that it can manipulate, such as texture, composition, light, and point of view. This is also when he began incorporating abstraction into his designs. Interestingly enough, Laszlo was able to incorporate abstraction through his photography by manipulating elements and changing perspectives allowing the viewer to see a different aspect than what would normally be conveyed in a photo. Laszlo took this into account and developed photographs with different angles, various objects, and diverse degrees of contrast. Photograms are unique in that they are photographs without the use of a camera. This is done by placing objects on photosensitive paper or by placing objects between photosensitive paper and a light source which composes images of shadows. Afterwards, this paper is then exposed and developed in order to create a photograph. This particular type of photogram is an example of a technique called chiaroscuro which highlights light and dark characteristics. A project with a high degree of chiaroscuro displays very light and very dark characteristics. Even though this technique can be applied to various types of projects, such as paintings, Laszlo understood photography as a manner of design that primarily manipulates light, therefore, applying chiaroscuro in his photography. This resulted in the subject of his photography to not be an object, but rather the notion of manipulating lightness and darkness.



“Abstraction in Photography of László Moholy-Nagy: Ideelart.”, 

“László Moholy-Nagy.” Exhibitions – László Moholy-Nagy | Hauser & Wirth,