Born in Bács-borsod, Hungary in 1895, Lászlo Moholy-Nagy began law studies in 1913 at the University of Budapest. His studies were interrupted in the year that followed by his service in the Austro-Hungarian army. In 1917, while recovering from a wound, Moholy-Nagy founded the artists’ group, “MA” with Ludwig Kassak and others in Szeged, Hungary. He also started a literary magazine called, “Jelenkor”. Moholy-Nagy moved to Vienna in 1919, after receiving his law degree. He began collaborating on the MA periodical, “Horizont” and in 1920 he traveled to Berlin and began making “photograms” and Dada collages.
Moholy-Nagy contributed to a number of important art periodicals during the 1920s and he co-edited, with Kassak, “Das Buch neuer Kunstler”, a volume of poetry and essays on art. He met El Lissitzky in Germany in 1921 and traveled to Paris for the first time. In 1922 Moholy- Nagy had his first solo exhibition organized by Herwarth Walden at the Der Sturm Gallery in Berlin. During this same time period, he was an instrumental figure in the development of Constructivism. He taught at the Weimar in 1923 and also became involved in stage and book design. With Walter Gropius, he edited and designed the Bauhausbücher series published by the Bauhaus School. In 1925 Moholy-Nagy moved to Dessau to teach at the Bauhaus School, until 1928 when he returned to Berlin to concentrate on film and stage design.
He participated in the Internationale Werkbund Ausstellung in Paris in 1930 and in 1934 he moved to Amsterdam. During the same year, he was given a major retrospective of his work at the Stedelijk Museum. Moholy- Nagy fled, from the growing Nazi threat, to London in 1935 and there he worked as a designer for a number of companies. He was appointed director of the New Bauhaus in Chicago in 1937, but the school after less than a year due to financial difficulties. In 1938 Moholy-Nagy established his own School of Design in Chicago and in 1940 he began giving summer classes in rural Illinois. In 1941 he joined the American Abstract Artists group and in 1944 he became an American citizen.