THE BAUHAUS COMES TO L.A. COUNTY MUSEUM

 

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.

 

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hallkaplan

Parallel careers as an urban planner and a journalist, principally at present airing commentaries on pubic radio 99.1 KBU.FM The many arrows in my quiver have included Emmy award winning reporter/ producer for local Fox Television News, design critic for the Los Angeles Times, urban affairs reporter for The New York Times, an editor of The New York Post, contributor to various popular and professional publications, news services and broadcast outlets, including Reuters, NET, NBC, CBS, NPR and the BBC. Founding editor of the East Harlem (NY) Independent. A diversity of professional positions and consultancies in the private and public sectors, (Metro, Disney Imagineering, Howard Hughes, M. Milken, NYC Educational Construction Fund, US Comptroller of the Currency etc,) assorted academic appointments (UCLA, USC, CCNY, Art Center etc.), and always open to new challenge. And let us not forget fashioning sand castles and acting on 90210, crafting TV docs, design reviews, master plans. Books: "The Dream Deferred: People, Politics and Planning in Suburbia," "L.A. Lost and Found," an architectural history of Los Angeles, "L.A. Follies," a collection of essays, and co-author of "The New York City Handbook." Writings have appeared in academic texts, commentaries on the web, scripts for TV, and wherever, latest the Architects Newspaper, The Planning Report and Planetizen.

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