Mark Wilson

Basic Info

Name: Mark Wilson
Country of Origin: US


Born in Oregon in 1943, Mark Wilson is an American artist, author and programmer who was part of the 1980s movement of artist-programmers at the forefront of the use of computer software to create art. Wilson received his undergraduate degree from Pomona College and his M.F.A. from Yale Art School. During the 1970s, he exhibited paintings and drawings in New York, working with geometric imagery that had a distinctly technological flavor. In the early ’80s, Wilson purchased a microcomputer and began to learn programming, with the goal of finding ‘a unique way of using the computer and software to create geometric images’. Since then, his works have been widely exhibited in the U.S. and Europe; he has participated in many influential exhibitions of computer art, including seven SIGGRAPH shows, “Computers and Art” at the IBM Gallery in New York City, and Digital Pioneers at the Victoria and Albert Museum.

Mark Wilson studied painting with Al Held at Yale but found his ultimate medium when he purchased a computer in 1980. His work is remarkable for images at once filled with specificity, yet also completely abstract. Like a fractal, the works seem to function on multiple scales–and at times, seem to depict everything from microscopic computer chip designs to vast landscapes. While the individual pieces remain rectilinear, they often compose circular forms.

Wilson has published a few works, including an instructional book on Drawing with Computers, taught and lectured at a number of institutions, and has been awarded numerous grants and awards, including the Distinction in Computer Graphics from Ars Electronica in 1992.

More recently, Wilson has been working on a series of inkjet prints using a large format archival printer. As he says: “The power and excitement of image making with these machines lies with their power to create many choices. Randomness does lead to surprises and this is always exciting.”



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