The fiery stimulator
He was the most inventive and engaging of all the Bauhaus artists,
galvanising the movement to ever-greater heights. What a shame Britain
never embraced László Moholy-Nagy when he fled the Nazis in the 1930s.
By Fiona MacCarthy
Saturday March 18, 2006
László Moholy-Nagy, one of the leading figures in the Bauhaus, arrived
to work in England in 1935, two years after that experimental school of
art and design was closed down by the Nazis. His English was not fluent.
Taken to a party in London by John Betjeman, he said smilingly to his
hostess: "Thank you for your hostilities."
Moholy-Nagy, ever questioning, observed that in the US, "the provocative
statement is constantly annulled by chequebook and cocktail party. Am I
on the same way?" The most inventive and engaging of all the Bauhaus
artists died of leukaemia in 1946, bequeathing to the world one of the
prime examples of mass-produced design of the mid-20th century - the
1951 Parker pen.