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Markéta Svobodová

‘Mein lieber Ka’. Letters from László Moholy-Nagy to František Kalivoda, 1933–1946

The letters László Moholy-Nagy wrote to the architect František Kalivoda between 1933 and 1946 are part of the collection of Brno City Museum, and they depict the collaboration between the two men, especially around the time they were producing the journal Telehor. When he was active in the film section of the Left Front Kalivoda initiated this contact through the aesthetician and literary theorist Bedřich Václavek, with whom he had collaborated extensively since 1925. Kalivoda and Moholy-Nagy met in the summer of 1933 at the CIAM International Congress of Modern Architecture in Marseilles and Athens, where the Hungarian artist was making a film about the congress. The earliest letter dates from October 1933 and concerns the lending and exchanging of films. In their letters from 1935 to 1937 we read about their joint projects: Moholy-Nagy’s exhibitions in Czechoslovakia (1935), the production of Telehor (1936) and CIRPAC, an international committee for modern architecture. The letters from the time of publishing Telehor are more concerned with work and document the regular communication between the two men who were the most actively involved in the journal; letters written in English that Moholy-Nagy sent to Kalivoda from Chicago in 1938, 1939, 1945 and 1946 document their friendly exchanges, despite the dramatic events of the pre-war and post-war years. The correspondence between the two artists must have been far more extensive, as is indicated by quotations from their letters in Telehor and that part of Moholy-Nagy’s correspondence that was found on the website of Christie’s auction house in London. No letters from Kalivoda to Moholy-Nagy have yet been discovered.

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