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Photograph, Photogram, Photomontage: The Moholys’ Ways of Seeing Architectural Influence Through Lines of Photography

Part 2 Dissertation 2021
Jonathan Barker
Manchester School of Architecture Manchester | UK
Peering through the viewport of early Bauhaus photographers, artists and romantic partners László Moholy-Nagy and Lucia Moholy, this dissertation investigates distinct modes of architectural influence through the lines of different photographic techniques developed by the pair at the Bauhaus.

By placing the Moholy’s use of photographs, photograms and photomontages into the broader context of the international modernist movement, the dissertation explores the multifaceted nature of influence. This historical study depicts three modes of seeing architectural influence: influence through appropriation, influence mediated with and through artwork, and influence through association with broader artistic movements. These modes are further scrutinised through the analysis of visual and archival sources, including the examination of 65 letters of correspondence, that reveal connections between the Moholys’ photographic practices and works of ‘iconic’ modernist architects Walter Gropius, Frank Lloyd Wright and Mies van der Rohe.

Concurrently, this study brings to light various additional themes contributing towards wider architectural discussions; developing arguments for gendered ideas of authorship in the Bauhaus, examining otherwise uncovered relationships between architects and artists and giving a coherent and extensive biographical account of the lives and work of László Moholy- Nagy and Lucia Moholy.

Jonathan Barker

Lea-Catherina Szacka
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