Light Space Modulator

Light Space Modulator (Light Prop for an Electric Stage) – 1931

When Laszlo Moholy-Nagy moved to London, he became adventurous through the materials he used in his projects, including utilizing plastic. He recognized the advantages of using the transparent quality of plastic into his manipulation of light, color, and even motion. He would paint, cut, and adjust the plastic in order to construct shadows. The motion was then developed through the movement of a light source resulting in the movement of the shadows. The unique nature of this type of project allowed Laszlo to name his art that resembled a painting and a sculpture a “light modulator”. Some of these structures were even designed for the 1936 film called “Things to Come” by the Hungarian film director Alexander Korda. Laszlo was instructed to create a display of a future city which he accomplished by designing colorful and lively sculptures using transparent plastic materials. Interestingly enough, these sculptures were so innovative that they only appear for a short period of the film. Because the quality of these light modulators deteriorated over time, many of these projects do not exist today. This was especially true with the projects that utilized Plexiglas allowing for the original shape of the sculpture to be indistinguishable. This particular Light-Space Modulator shown above was a key element in the production of Laszlo’s 1930 short film called “A Lightplay – black white gray” which illustrated movement and light. The project was so successful that Laszlo applied this sculpture to his other projects for years afterwards. It was designed using metal, plastics, glass, paint, and wood and even applied the use of an electric motor. This image of the light modulator is a replica that was reconstructed in 2006.



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

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