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László Moholy-Nagy, Untitled, 1936–46, Fujicolor crystal archive print, 9 × 13 1/2". © Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn.

László Moholy-Nagy

Andrea Rosen Gallery

László Moholy-Nagy, Untitled, 1936–46, Fujicolor crystal archive print, 9 × 13 1/2". © Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn.

Curated by the artist Erik Wysocan, “László Moholy-Nagy: Production/Reproduction” at Andrea Rosen Gallery purported to revisit Moholy-Nagy’s art and thought in the years after the failed socialist revolution in Hungary. In Wysocan’s estimation, Moholy-Nagy’s 1922 eponymous essay “Produktion-Reproduktion” is nothing less than a “politicized theory of aesthetics invested with materialism.” To prove this thesis, Wysocan gathered a miscellany of posthumous prints, original multiples, apocryphal reconstructions, real fakes, and photosensitive rocks—all more or less loosely associated with the once and future Bauhaus master. The exhibition was not a work of scholarship so much as an eccentric historical fiction.

Most incongruous was a large specimen of silver bromide, the chemical base for nearly all twentieth-century photography. Moholy-Nagy charted a teleology from pigment to

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