Sunday, 26 April 2009

Moholy-Nagy: The Telephone Paintings

In 1922 I ordered by telephone from a sign factory five paintings in porcelain enamel. I had the factory's color chart before me and I sketched my paintings on graph paper. At the other end of the telephone the factory supervisor had the same kind of paper, divided into squares. He took down the dictated shapes in the correct position. (It was like playing chess by correspondence.) One of the pictures was delivered in three different sizes, so that I could study the subtle differences in the color relations caused by the enlargement and reduction.

telephone paintings


This photograph of Prinzregent Luitpold Karl Joseph Wilhelm Ludwig von Bayern was the first ever photograph successfully transmitted by wire. This was achieved by Dr Arthur Korn (1870-1945), of the University of Munich, on 17 October 1906. 

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