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Lapperman, Petsamo, Finland
The revolutionary designer László Moholy-Nagy joined the Bauhaus faculty in 1922, at age 27, to teach its foundation course. He shared his creative ideas and activities with his wife Lucia, who studied photography in Dresden, and set up the first school darkroom in the faculty residence. In large part the Bauhaus book Painting, Photography, Film, was a collaboration between the couple. It asserts that photography provided a new way of seeing: Neues Sehen or the “New Vision.” In 1929, Moholy-Nagy took a long road trip into Scandinavia, driving through Finland to the Barents Sea. Taken on that journey, this photograph embodies many characteristics of Neues Sehen. To capture unexpected views of the familiar, the photographer selected a confused viewpoint, then tilted the camera further to disorient the viewer. In the foreground is the shadow of his elevated arm and camera. Further to confuse the space, Moholy-Nagy tightly cropped his print.
from Touchstones of the Twentieth Century: A History of Photography at the University of Notre Dame (exhibition, 2020-21)