László Moholy-Nagy

American, born Hungary, 1895-1946

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D IV, 1922

Artwork Details

Collection Highlight


oil on canvas


support: 37 x 29 1/2 inches (93.98 x 74.93 cm); framed: 37 3/4 x 30 x 1 inches (95.88 x 76.2 x 2.54 cm)

Collection Buffalo AKG Art Museum


George B. and Jenny R. Mathews Fund, 1973

Accession ID


Influenced by Russian Constructivism, László Moholy-Nagy shunned naturalism in favor of exploring the synergy between color and simple geometric forms. In 1920, he began to title his work with impersonal letters and numbers to further strip away any reference to traditional modes of art-making. Early in his career, Moholy-Nagy’s palette was inspired by the bright hues of Hungarian folk art, but by 1922 it became increasingly sophisticated, undoubtedly a result of the artist’s increasing fascination with technology. This is also reflected in the predominantly smooth and painstakingly finished surface of this painting, which is interrupted only by the central curvilinear shape executed in a matte black.

Label from Picasso: The Artist and His Models, November 5, 2016–February 19, 2017