Texas Bauhaus

Carlotta Corpron established a course in “creative photography” in 1935 at the Texas Woman’s University in Denton, based on an experimental exploration of the medium. Making light her raw material, she advocated the use of the “light modulator”, a perforated box in which objects could be placed to be photographed. She also encouraged the use of mirrors, prisms, cut-up paper, glass cubes, and venetian blinds to refract, deform, and reflect light on the surfaces of various objects. Ida Lansky and Barbara Maples took part in this open course, the latter notably pressing water and oil between two glass plates to make surprising photographs. Still relatively unknown outside of the United States, these works testify to the importance of the formaI and theoreticaI innovations derived from László Moholy-Nagy’s New Bauhaus in Chicago, whose thinking had a profound effect on Carlotta Corpron.