An exhibition of over 100 photographs by former students and teachers of the Institute of Design in Chicago entitled: The New Vision: Forty Years of Photography at the Institute of Design, will be displayed at the Philadelphia Museum of Art beginning July 12. The Institute of Design began in 1937 when former Bauhaus instructor Laszlo Moholy-Nagy chose Chicago, a thriving commercial city, as the logical home of the "New Bauhaus." The Hungarian Moholy-Nagy came to America in search of "the new vision." A master photographer, painter and designer, he impressed his students by his love of experimentation and spirit of adventure. Innovative and radical, he tried to free students from the traditional "visual indoctrination." Organized by the Light Gallery in New York, the selection of works represents key ideas which characterized the school's 40-year period of innovative photography. It was chosen by Charles Traub, a former student at the Institute and current Director of the Light Gallery. After Moholy-Nagy's death in 1946, the Institute of Design evolved away from his original "universal artist" concept, becoming a place of photographic education. Teachers such as Arthur Siegel, Henry Holmes Smith, Harry Callahan, and Aaron Siskind brought their own artistic and social concerns to the Institute, but Moholy-Nagy's teaching principles remained central to the curriculum. Despite marked trends in the art, the Institute program has always encompassed many photographic traditions -- the documentary, the Constructivist, the experimental and the purely formalist modes. Among the 32 photographers represented in the exhibition are the school's famous mentors and several younger artists whose work matured during the sixties and seventies, including Barbara Crane, Joseph Jachna, Art Sinsabaugh and Philadelphians Barbara Blondeau, William Larson and Ray Metzker. A catalogue published by Aperture Press accompanies the exhibition.
Light Gallery, New York