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Olly and Dolly Sisters (Das Tänzerpaar)

This image shows the experimental style of photography (combining elements of Constructivism and Surrealism with photo-collage) that Moholy-Nagy introduced at the German Bauhaus and later taught at the New Bauhaus in Chicago. Believing that creative endeavors were only valid if they produced new relationships, the multi-talented artist Moholy-Nagy began applying this theory to photography in 1922. Combining elements of geometric abstraction of the Russian Constructivists and collage of Dada, he sought to de-materialize images of popular culture by rearranging them to create a new vision. His photomontages (or “photoplastics”) unified hand-drawn and graphic elements on a neutral white field. Moholy-Nagy introduced his revolutionary design principles to America at the New Bauhaus in 1923. This image utilizes a publicity shot of a single member of a vaudevillian dance team as its starting point.

Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art’s collection includes another photomontage by Moholy-Nagy Harmony: Murder on the Rails (Eskenazi Museum of Art 300. X.28.2).

László Moholy-Nagy
American, 1894–1946
Olly and Dolly Sisters (Das Tänzerpaar)
1925
Gelatin silver print
Image/sheet: 6 1/8 x 4 9/16 in. (15.5 x 11.6 cm)
Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art, Art Sinsabaugh Archive, 300. X.28.1