One of the earliest electrically powered kinetic sculptures, "Light Prop for an Electric Stage" holds a central place in the history of modern sculpture. Representing the culmination of László Moholy-Nagy’s experimentation at the Bauhaus, it incorporates his interest in technology, new materials, and, above all, light.
The "Light Prop" is currently on view February 8–July 28, 2019 in conjunction with the Harvard Art Museums' special exhibition, "The Bauhaus and Harvard."
Moholy-Nagy sought to revolutionize human perception and thereby enable society to better apprehend the modern technological world. He presented "Light Prop" at a 1930 exhibition of German design as a mechanism for generating “special lighting and motion effects” on a stage. The rotating construction produces a startling array of visual effects when its moving and reflective surfaces interact with the beam of light. The sculpture became the subject of numerous photographs as well as Moholy’s abstract film "Lightplay: Black, White, Gray (1930)." Over the years the artist and later the museums made alterations to the sculpture to keep it in working order. It is still operational today. Visit the Harvard Art Museums' calendar to learn more about this fascinating object and see it in operation: harvardartmuseums.org/visit/calendar/gallery-talk-activation-of-moholy-nagy-s-light-prop-for-an-electric-stage-10
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