Finally made it to LACMA, having twice before been discouraged by weekday traffic. But last Sunday the freeway was relatively open and parking on the street available, and so I persevered.
And I am very glad I did, for there are several exhibits that have been at the top of my must-see list for months now, and one of them approaching a closing date.
The retrospective on the pioneering Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, ends June 18th, and if you are at all interested in the evolution of art in the twentieth century, it is a must exhibit, educational and engaging, as I comment on public radio 97.5 KBU and select websites. .
Do art and technology work together to elevate humanity, asks the museum, and then suggests you find out at its Art of the Americas building. The answer, of course, is a resounding yes, as demonstrated Moholy exhibit, the first comprehensive retrospective of his art in nearly 50 years, with more than 250 works in all media from collections from the world over.
After the trauma of World War One, Moholy found solace in the famed Bauhaus school in Germany, embracing modernism with unabashed passion, pursuing it as a resolute, utopian everywhere, and in every endeavor.
This included painting, sculpting, photography, filmmaking, and when pressed to earn money for his family, graphic design, stage design and as an advertising art director.
He eventually ended up in the United States, where he founded the Chicago Institute of Design, teaching, writing and forever, enthusiastically experimenting.
Included in particular is a large-scale installation, entitled the Room of the Present, a contemporary construction of an exhibition space originally conceived by Moholy-Nagy nearly century ago.
Though never realized during his lifetime, the room at long last has been fashioned at LACMA to illustrate Moholy’s belief in the power of images and the various means by which to disseminate them. And as the museum comments, it is a highly relevant paradigm in today’s constantly shifting and evolving technological world.
It is an absorbing exhibit, taking you back to Moholy’s Bauhaus days, and conveying some of the excitement and joy students must have felt back then witnessing the emerging, challenging world of modernism, and then the sadness when the school was closed in the rise of Fascism.