Manfred Mohr

Basic Info

Name: Manfred Mohr
Date of Birth: June 8, 1938
Country of Origin: DE
Website: http://www.emohr.com/
Gallery Representation:  bitforms gallery - Steve Sacks - NYC
 Galerie Mueller-Roth, Christine Mueller-Roth, Stuttgart Germany
 DAM Gallery, Wolf Lieser, Berlin Germany
 Gallery Charlot, Valerie Hasson-Benillouche, Paris

Description

Manfred Mohr is one of the great names of computer art, considered a pioneer in the field and nicknamed “godfather” of digital art. His work is distinguished by its radically rational construction which explores series of shapes of ever-increasing complexity.

Born in Pforzheim, Germany, Mohr began his career as an action painter and jazz musician. He co-founded a jazz club and played tenor saxophone and oboe in local groups; later, his knowledge of music theory would influence his practice even after he began to work with computers. His early work was focused on gestural abstraction, but he quickly shifted to using a black and white geometric pictorial language in his paintings. In 1963, he moved to Paris and studied lithography at the École des Beaux Arts, where he continued his artistic evolution, undertaking geometric experiments and incorporating hard-edge theory into his work. After discovering Prof. Max Bense‘s information aesthetics, Mohr’s artistic thinking was radically changed. Within a few years, his art transformed from abstract expressionism to computer-generated algorithmic geometry. Encouraged by the computer music composer Pierre Barbaud whom he met in 1967, Mohr programmed his first computer drawings in 1969.

By the early 1980s, he was living and working full-time in New York. He maintains a clear musical influence in the use of rhythm and repetition in his work, producing pieces characterized by complex series of lines and forms with a clear and methodical underlying structure, created from algorithms that describe a defined system. These algorithms are then executed using pseudo-random numbers as the values of structural parameters. Mohr has explored the multidimensional cube as a source of visual complexity in many of his works, utilizing fractured projections of n-dimensional hypercubes. His practice has been compared to Josef Albers in its’ systematic explorations of shape, as opposed to Albers’ visual research on color.

Mohr’s work was some of the first computer art to be collected by museums and is now held internationally in collections like those of the Centre Pompidou, Paris; Victoria and Albert Museum, London; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; and others from Tel Aviv to Berlin and across the U.S. He has also had many one-person shows and retrospectives dedicated to his work in museums and galleries internationally, as well as innumerable group shows everywhere from MoMA, New York, to MoCa, Los Angeles and Museo Nacional Reina Sofia, Madrid. He received the ACM SIGGRAPH Distinguished Artist Award for Lifetime Achievement in Digital Art in 2013, and has been granted other artistic awards and fellowships in the U.S. and Germany. Recently, he has continued to develop programs and algorithms that revisit his older code in a new way.

Explore Artworks By Manfred Mohr

P-112

P-112, lady quark, 1972 Computer generated pen plotter drawing, ink on paper Random points chosen within a circular area of each square are linearly transformed to each of square’s 4 sides and densely to its center point. Details: http://emohr.com/sc69-73/vfile_112.html A work from this algorithm was one of my art pieces in the historic group show: […]

Visual Transformations of Texts and Images

4 artworks of which 2 are printed and 2 are drawn on folding and sprocketed computer printer paper. First shown Paris, 1976, then Hamburg 1976 — Visual Transformations of texts and images – 1976 First shown in group show {photo left): Contrastes, Centre Culturel de Marais, Paris 1976 My contribution to the show was 4 […]

Scratch Code [8]

series of 8 serigraphs (screen prints) printed at 80 copies signed and numbered by the artist accompanied by a text by Gustav Hain May 1976

Scratch Code [7]

series of 8 serigraphs (screen prints) printed at 80 copies signed and numbered by the artist accompanied by a text by Gustav Hain May 1976

Scratch Code [6]

series of 8 serigraphs (screen prints) printed at 80 copies signed and numbered by the artist accompanied by a text by Gustav Hain May 1976

Scratch Code [5]

series of 8 serigraphs (screen prints) printed at 80 copies signed and numbered by the artist accompanied by a text by Gustav Hain May 1976

Scratch Code [4]

series of 8 serigraphs (screen prints) printed at 80 copies signed and numbered by the artist accompanied by a text by Gustav Hain May 1976

Scratch Code [3]

series of 8 serigraphs (screen prints) printed at 80 copies signed and numbered by the artist accompanied by a text by Gustav Hain May 1976

Scratch Code [2]

series of 8 serigraphs (screen prints) printed at 80 copies signed and numbered by the artist accompanied by a text by Gustav Hain May 1976

Scratch Code [1]

series of 8 serigraphs (screen prints) printed at 80 copies signed and numbered by the artist accompanied by a text by Gustav Hain May 1976

Artiste Et Ordinateur

Portfolio of works by  Beck-Jung, Bodin, Breval, Hoglund-Wikstrom, Huitric-Nahas, Johannesson, Luke-Kempf, Mohr, Molnar, and Ridell. L’Artiste et L’Ordinateur was a group exhibition in 1979 in Paris at Centre Culturel Suedois (Swedish Cultural Centre). From there it went to Lille and Caen. Participating artists were Holger Backstrom and Bo Ljungberg, Lars-Gunner Bodin, Jose Breval, Sven Hoglund […]

P-129

Machine Drawing. Grid of solid triangles projected onto a sphere: The 4 possible triangles formed by 2 edges of a square & 1 of its 2 diagonals, randomly chosen at each grid position. Based on my earlier drawing P-128, sphereless, with symbols created from an alphabet of the 4 edges & 2 diagonals of the […]

P-038 Rotor

signed and dated lower right edge artist name and date printed lower right title printed lower left   Each sign is formed from 15 random lines. A certain percentage of the lines have a thicker line width. These signs are distributed within the interior of a circle.

P-197 N/R801 “cubic limit II”

Manfred Mohr is considered a pioneer of digital art based on algorithms. After discovering Prof. Max Bense’s information aesthetics in the early 1960’s, Mohr’s artistic thinking was radically changed. Within a few years, his art transformed from abstract expressionism to computer generated algorithmic geometry. Further encouraged by discussions with the computer music composer Pierre Barbaud […]

P-181 D III

signed, titled, and dated below the image on the front algorithm completed in 1975 drawing completed in 1979

P-181 D II

signed, titled, and dated below the image on the front algorithm completed in 1975 drawing completed in 1979

P-181 D I

signed, titled, and dated below the image on the front algorithm completed in 1975 drawing completed in 1979

P-021 Band Structure

signed and dated lower right title printed below the image lower left computer used to create the image: CDC7600 using Program 21 with FORTRAN plotter used to draw the image: Benson The elements are horizontal, vertical, 45 degree lines, square waves, zig-zags, and have probabilities for line widths and lengths. The algorithm places elements in […]

P-156 A Cubic Limit I

signed and dated lower center artist name and title printed bottom edge lower left This algorithm uses the 12 edges of the cube as an alphabet. The number of lines slowly decreases towards the outside of the circle in a statistical procedure, while the cube slowly rotates.

P-148 Inschrift (Inscription)

signed and dated lower right   The drawing is constructed from a series of 2 horizontal solid lines spaced a distance apart. Between each pair of lines, a third line is broken up into short equal length pieces and a random sequence of 0’s and 1’s decides the position of each piece. For each short line […]