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Markéta Svobodová

František Kalivoda, László Moholy-Nagy and the Left Front in Prague and Brno

The article examines the relations between the architect, typographer and coordinator of the Brno arts scene František Kalivoda and the Hungarian avant-garde artist László Moholy-Nagy. This was related to Kalivoda’s interest in experimental film and his later activities in the film section of the Left Front. Following an unsuccessful attempt to publish Ekran, an international journal on film, Kalivoda decided to publish another journal, working with Moholy-Nagy and the Swiss architecture theorist Sigfried Giedion. They named it Telehor, with the subtitle “the international review new vision”. Between 2011 and 2013 Lars Müller Publishers in Switzerland issued a reprint of this avant-garde journal, which was originally produced in 1936 in Czechoslovakia in collaboration with the Zurich-based publisher Hans Girsberger. The reprint is especially valuable as both versions (one with a coloured cover like the original Telehor, and one with a black and white cover) have been published with knowledgeable commentaries by the art historians Klemens Gruber and Oliver Botar, who use historical events and comparisons with contemporary output in the west to set the magazine in an international context. In connection with the publishing of this reprint the article’s author seeks to answer questions about how the Czech avant-garde viewed László Moholy-Nagy, how far his contacts with Czechoslovakia extended, the background to the various opinions on his work and how they corresponded with the intellectual atmosphere of the 1930s, when collaboration between Moholy-Nagy and Kalivoda was at its most intensive. The article is supplemented with correspondence between Moholy-Nagy and Kalivoda from 1933–1946 that is archived as part of the history of architecture collection at Brno City Museum.

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