László Moholy-Nagy - Photographs New York Monday, March 31, 2014 | Phillips

Create your first list.

Select an existing list or create a new list to share and manage lots you follow.

  • Provenance

    Sybil Moholy-Nagy, Chicago

  • Literature

    Galerie Klihm, Moholy-Nagy: Fotografien, Fotogramme, Fotoplastiken, n.p.
    J. Paul Getty Museum, László Moholy- Nagy: Photographs from the J. Paul Getty Museum, pl. 30
    Magyar Fotografiai Museum, Moholy- Nagy László 100 Foto, p. 67
    Nathan Collection Photo Poche, László Moholy- Nagy, pl. 11
    Saul, Moholy-Nagy, Fotoplastiks, The Bauhaus Years, pp. 48 and 58

  • Catalogue Essay

    Mein Name ist Hase - ich weiss von nichts is a prime and rare example of László Moholy-Nagy’s fotoplastiks, which were all created during his teaching tenure at the Bauhaus (1923 -1928). In order to create each unique work, Moholy-Nagy often began by drawing on a surface, as exemplified by the cluster of diagonal lines seen in the present lot, and then collaged/glued on images culled from various print publications. Finally, he would photograph the composition, thereby unifying all mediums under the photographic umbrella.

    These enigmatic works have often been analyzed in terms of Moholy-Nagy’s connection with the Dadaist Kurt Schwitters (with whom Moholy shared a studio in Berlin). Nonetheless, to have a stronger understanding of the fotoplastiks they must also be examined in the context of Moholy-Nagy’s Constructivist interest in modern technology and its ability to transform production (montage/collage/drawing) into reproduction (fotoplastik).

    Moholy-Nagy, a Hungarian émigré, synthesized the word fotoplastik from two German words: foto (photo) and plastik (plastic, a group of polymer substances, material derived from petroleum that is easily shaped and molded when heated). As with his perspective-shifting photographs and his light-bending photograms, Moholy-Nagy’s fotoplastiks are Modern explorations into the multi-dimensional planes of non-objective representation. In the fotoplastiks, images taken from other sources are re-contextualized into an alternative narrative within an irregular dimensional space.

    Louis Kaplan, in his book on Moholy-Nagy’s biographical writings, discusses Mein Name ist Hase as an autobiographical photomontage or a self portrait that “….deploy(s) tactics to ‘unname’ or ‘misrecognize’ the autobiographical subject…” Indeed, Mein Name ist Hase can be seen as a portrait of the artist. He is the rabbit-faced magician floating in an undefined space above two crossed hands. Moholy-Nagy believed that artists must forget historical and traditional suppositions (as represented in the current image by the three figures perched-upon, entangled-in, or hanging from a platform of diagonal lines) in order to be conscious of their present moment. Indeed, Moholy-Nagy believed that relinquishing ties to the past would allow for his newly modernized society to freely see their contemporary era and envision their future.


Mein Name ist Hase - ich weiss von nichts (My Name is Hare - I Know Nothing)

Gelatin silver print.
8 1/8 x 6 1/4 in. (20.6 x 15.9 cm)
‘foto Moholy-Nagy’ credit stamp on the verso.

$60,000 - 80,000 

Contact Specialist
Vanessa Kramer Hallett
Worldwide Head, Photographs
[email protected]

Shlomi Rabi
Head of Sale, New York
[email protected]

General Enquiries:
+1 212 940 1245


New York Auction 1 April 10am & 2pm