Christopher Knight reviews Paintings of Moholy-Nagy: The Shape of Things to Come at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, on view through September 27, 2015.
Knight writes that the "exhibition centers on Moholy-Nagy's paintings, a medium he set aside as old-fashioned for a few years but picked up again in the early 1930s. He experimented with materials and techniques: incising into plastic, trying out metal and Formica as a support, varying paint textures as a means for altering the play of light across a flat surface. The physical architecture of a painting entered into dialogue with its optical effects. Often he worked on paper (six examples are here). Perhaps the most compelling is a watercolor with collage on the gritty sandpaper used on a metal shop's grinding tools. With intersections of geometric shapes and color-shifts, he transforms the brute physical material into an elegant perceptual tool."