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-021+

signed and dated lower right in graphite titled lower left in graphite artist’s name, title, date, measurements, and medium printed on artist’s label attached to the back of the frame

P-455a3

signed and dated in graphite lower right “Works from Mohr’s Line Cluster phase (1989-1990) are based on the 5-dimensional hyper-cube, a structure built from a set of eighty lines. A subset of twenty lines, containing four lines from each “dimensional-direction” are chosen from this structure. Each “dimensional-direction” consists therefore of four parallel lines, represented by […]

P-049/621290

image conceived: 1970 drawing on canvas: 1990 “Mohr’s work is an important bridge between handmade manipulations and machine-calculated structures in art. Following a series of geometric experiments, a shift toward hard-edge painting by 1967 immediately preceded Mohr’s use of the computer as a tool for art. In this period of work, his fascination with modern […]

P2400-299_714_Large_4

“The P-2400 series is based on the 1978 algorithm from the work phase Dimensions I. The first version of this alogrithm did not include the possibility of rotating the four-dimensional hypercube. In 2017, Mohr pursued this original code and directed the algorithm into a different visual solution. Again, the basic 32 lines which constitute the […]

Scratch Code Portfolio

a portfolio of eight black and white serigraphs after original unique plotter drawings with a colophon title page, and a text page, in a custom made portfolio box and slip case signed and dated in graphite lower right on each serigraph numbered 69/80 in graphite lower left on each serigraph numbered 69/80 in graphite on […]

P-026-A Inversion Logique (Logical Inversion)

signed and dated in graphite lower right “Tape 1, 102” written in graphite lower left hardware: CDC7600 software: Program 21 with FORTRAN output machine: Benson Plotter 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 a horizontal direction and has […]

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 […]

Artiste et Ordinateur (Artist and Computer) Portfolio

A portfolio comprised of 10 signed and numbered computer generated images printed on 26 x 19.75″ Arches paper. All prints were made after original unique plotter drawings. The portfolio is housed in a custom box with the edition number written in graphite lower left on the front of the box. The portfolio contains a colophon […]

P-129

signed and dated lower right in graphite artist’s name, date, and title printed lower left 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 […]

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/R 801 Cubic Limit II

signed and dated lower right in graphite 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 […]

P-193/A Signs and Co-Signs

signed and dated in graphite lower left on the cover page titled lower right on the cover page a folded work comprised consecutively of one cover page and twelve plotter drawings on CDC paper 16 x 11″ each 16 x 143″ overall

Art Ex Machina Portfolio

a portfolio of six serigraphs created after original unique computer-generated images the portfolio is housed in a custom made box with the title printed on the front along the left side the portfolio contains: a serigraph printed colophon page that is numbered 197/200 a lithographic introductory text by page Abraham A. Moles that is printed […]

P-159 R Cubic Limit I

signed lower right “New York Nov. 5 1983 AE=O” written on the back of the frame   This algorithm uses the 12 edges of the cube as an alphabet. The number of lines slowly decreases towards the sides of the outside square in a statistical procedure, while the cube slowly rotates.   In Cubic Limit, Mohr […]

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-018/mf6-10 Random Walk

a group of five screen prints after original unique computer-generated high resolution light beam plotter drawings signed and dated 6/2/2011 on accompanying certificate of authenticity attached to the back of the frame drawings featured left to right: P-018/mf6, P-018/mf7, P-018/mf8, P-018/mf9, P-018/mf10 original drawings were programed by the artist in 1969 original drawings were printed […]

P-018/mf1-5 Random Walk

a group of five screen prints after original unique computer-generated high resolution light beam plotter drawings signed and dated 6/2/2011 on accompanying certificate of authenticity attached to the back of the frame drawings featured left to right: P-018/mf1, P-018/mf2, P-018/mf3, P-018/mf4, P-018/mf5 original drawings were programed by the artist in 1969 original drawings were printed […]

P-021 Band Structure

signed and dated in graphite lower right title printed below the image lower left hardware: CDC7600 software: Program 21 with FORTRAN output machine: Benson Plotter 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 a horizontal direction and has a […]

P-026 Inversion Logique (Logical Inversion)

signed and dated lower right in graphite “Tape 1, 107” written in graphite lower left titled lower left on the reverse of the paper in graphite hardware: CDC7600 software: Program 21 with FORTRAN output machine: Benson Plotter The elements are horizontal, vertical, 45 degree lines, square waves, zig-zags, and have probabilities for line widths and […]

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 […]

P-300b Divisibility I

signed and dated lower right hardware: CDC 7600 supercomputer software: Fortran IV plotter: Benson flatbed plotter   “In “Divisibility”, the cube is used again as a fixed structure to generate signs. The cube is divided into four sections by a horizontal and a vertical cut. Four independent rotations of a cube are projected onto the […]