München: Albert Langen Verlag, 1927. Zweite veränderte Auflage, Drittes bis fünftes Tausend (Second revised edition). Softcover. Quarto. 140pp. Original yellow cloth with red lettering on cover and spine, in original illustrated dustjacket, white lettering at spine. Black endpapers. Dustjacket, typography, design and layout by Moholy-Nagy. An influential publication of experimental photography, which asserts that the photographic medium can create new ways of looking at the world. This seminal Bauhaus treatise is comprised of images, text and charts advancing The New Vision of objective visual communication developed in reaction to the subjectivity of the pictorialist and expressionist schools. Illustrated with 33 b/w photographs utilizing a range of innovative forms and techniques: photogram, photo montage (often combined with type), x-ray, double exposure, long exposure, reverse printing, sequential frames (animation & live action), darkroom manipulation, macro, micro, lighting and mirrors, along with some documentary images, portraiture and advertisements. Essays include a graphic analysis of dozens of images and their tempos. Others cover topics such as optical design, photos with words, the photographic process, reproduction and color. Bold constructivist typography in text sections. Much of the work is by Moholy-Nagy. Also: Man Ray, Renger-Patzsch, Hannah Höch, Georg Muche; and Lucia Moholy, F. M. Duncan, Riebicke, Charlotte Rudolf, J. B. Polak, Muche / Bauhaus, Citroen / Bauhaus, Berliner Illustrierte Zeitung, UfA, and others. Includes photographs from the films Tatjana, Fridericus Rex, Arnold Fanck's Wunder des Schneeschuhs and Dr. Mabuse. Introduction by Aleksey Fedorov-Davydov.
Text in German. Dustjacket rubbed with light wear along edges and 1/2" chip at top of spine. Binding with light foxing due to water exposure, visible starting at front endpapers with one inch at bottom across page, diminishing throughout publication to page fifty-nine. Dustjacket, binding and interior in overall good- to very good condition. Scarce. Volume 8 of the "Bauhausbücher" series. Item #48218
Contents: Einführung / Von der Pigmentmalerei bis zum reflektorisch geworfenen Lichtspiel / Die Schlagwortproblematik optischer Gestaltung / Über das gegenständliche und Gegenstandslose / Tafelbild, Architektur und "Gesamtkunstwerk" / Die statische und kinetische optische Gestaltung / Haus - Pinakothek / Fotografie / Produktion Reproduktion / Fotografie ohne Kamera: Das "Fotogramm" / Die Zufunft des fotografischen Verfahrens / Typofoto / Das simultane oder Polykino / Von technischen Möglichkeiten und Forderungen / Abbildungen (illustrated section)
"In this theoretical treatise in text and pictures Moholy-Nagy condemns the subjectivity of pictorialism (using an Alfred Stieglitz picture as a punchbag), and sets out the framework of what he calls the 'New Vision', featuring his own work and that of others. The New Vision thesis put forward in this book argues that the camera should be left alone to record whatever happens to be before the lens: 'In the photographic camera we have the most reliable aid to a beginning of objective vision'. This is a typically modernist call to respect the inherent qualities of a medium - form follows function - but is very different from the American purist dogma of the 'straight' photography variety. Moholy-Nagy, heavily influenced by the Constructivists, embraces film, montage, typography, cameraless photography, news and ulitarian photography. Throughout, the pedagogical, utopian tone of the Bauhaus is in evidence. The images selected display all the formal innovations of New Vision photography - dramatically angled chimneys, patterns of flight and movement and so on. But Moholy-Nagy stresses the medium's distinctions from fine art. Photography, especially combined with type, would be a new 'visual literature'. Objectivity, clarity, communication rather than transcendental subjectivity were the primary goals of the new photography. The modern photographer would be a worker, adept at displaying his skills in the service of society, and equally at home in the related fields of photomontage, typography or film. The photographer of the future would be a contemporary renaissance man or woman - and none fitted the bill better than Moholy-Nagy - the renaissance sparked this time not by the printing press but by the camera: "The traditional painting has become a historical relic and is finished with. Eyes and ears have been opened and are filled at every moment with a wealth of optical and phonetic wonders. A few more vitally progressive years, a few more ardent followers of photographic technique and it will be a matter of universal knowledge that photography was one of the most important factors in the dawn of a new life." (Parr & Badger, The Photobook, vol. 1, p. 92/93).