This film is part of Free

A Memory of L Moholy-Nagy

An animated portrait of the Bauhaus artist, made by an animator who knew him.

Animation & Artists Moving Image 1990 14 mins


John Halas’ animated portrait of the celebrated Hungarian artist László Moholy-Nagy has unique insight – the filmmaker actually knew him. The overview of Moholy-Nagy touches on a whole range of artistic practice – painting, sculpture, typography, film. But it ends with an artists’ impression of what Moholy-Nagy might have created if he had a computer at his fingertips. Accurate or not, think for a second of how the digital landscape has developed since this film was made.

The Mühely was a Bauhaus inspired workshop in Budapest, and as a Hungarian, Moholy-Nagy was a frequent guest lecturer. The 18-year-old John Halas joined the Mühely as an unpaid assistant and breathed in the creativity, following Moholy-Nagy to London in 1935 where he helped mount the artist’s Cork Street exhibition mentioned in the film. It was all experience that John drew on when he co-founded Halas & Batchelor Cartoon Films in 1940 with his British wife Joy Batchelor, revolutionising Britain’s animation industry.