Manfred Mohr (b. 1938, Germany)
Manfred Mohr is known as a pioneer of the digital art genre. A co-founder the “Art et Informatique” seminar in 1968 at Vincennes University in Paris, he discovered Prof. Max Bense’s writing on information aesthetics in the early 1960′s. These texts radically changed Mohr’s thinking about creativity, and 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.
His first major museum exhibition, “Une esthétique programmée”, took place in 1971 at the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris. It has since become known historically as the first solo show in a museum of works entirely calculated and drawn by a digital (rather than analog) computer. During that show Mohr demonstrated the drawing of his computer-generated imagery using a Benson flatbed plotter for the first time in public.
Mohr’s pieces have been based on the logical structure of cubes and hypercubes, including the lines, planes, and relationships among them, since 1973. The rules of geometry, logic, and mathematics are fundamental to the artist-authored algorithms that generate his artwork.
Recently the subject of retrospective at ZKM, Karlsruhe, Mohr’s work is collected by the Centre Pompidou, Paris; Joseph Albers Museum, Bottrop; Victoria and Albert Museum, London; Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art; Victoria & Albert Museum, London; Ludwig Museum, Cologne; Wilhelm-Hack-Museum, Ludwigshafen; Kunstmuseum Stuttgart; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; Museum Kulturspeicher, Würzburg; Kunsthalle Bremen; Musée d’Art Moderne et Contemporain, Strasbourg; Daimler Contemporary, Berlin; Musée d’Art Contemporain, Montreal; McCrory Collection, New York; and Esther Grether Collection, Basel.
Solo exhibitions and retrospectives of his work include ARC – Musée d’Art Moderne de la ville de Paris (1971); ZKM / Center for Art and Media, Karlsruhe (2005, 2008, 2010, 2013); Art Basel, Switzerland (2013); Joseph Albers Museum, Bottrop (1998); Wilhelm-Hack-Museum, Ludwigshafen (1987, 2002); Museum for Concrete Art, Ingolstadt (2001); Kunsthalle Bremen (2007); Museum im Kulturspeicher, Würzburg (2005); and Grazyna Kulczyk Foundation, Poznan (2007). Mohr’s work has also been part of group exhibitions at the MoMA – Museum of Modern Art, New York (1980); Centre Pompidou, Paris (1978, 1992); Museum Ritter, Waldenbuch (2005, 2006, 2008); Museo Nacional Centro de Reina Sofia, Madrid (1989); MoCA, Los Angeles (1975); National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo (1984); Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco (1973, 1977, 1980); MoMA-PS1, New York (2008); Leo Castelli Gallery, New York (1978); Galerie Paul Facchetti, Paris (1965) and Zürich (1970).
Mohr is the recipient of a Golden Nica from Ars Electronica; the Camille Graesser-Preis, Zurich; D.velop Digital Art Award and a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship.
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