b.1938 in Pforzheim, Germany
Lives and works in New York, since 1981
Manfred Mohr is a leader within the field of software-based art. Co-founder of the "Art et Informatique" seminar in 1968 at Vincennes University in Paris, he discovered Professor Max Bense's writing on information aesthetics in the early 1960s. These texts radically changed Mohr's artistic thinking, 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 as the first solo show in a museum of works entirely calculated and drawn by a digital computer. During the exhibition, Mohr demonstrated his process of drawing 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.
Recently the subject of a retrospective at ZKM, Karlsruhe, Mohr’s work is in the collections of the Centre Pompidou, Paris; Joseph Albers Museum, Bottrop; Ludwig Museum, Cologne; Victoria and Albert Museum, London; Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art; 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; ZKM, Karlsruhe; Art Basel, Switzerland; Joseph Albers Museum, Bottrop; Wilhelm-Hack-Museum, Ludwigshafen; Museum for Concrete Art, Ingolstadt; Kunsthalle Bremen; Museum im Kulturspeicher, Würzburg; and Grazyna Kulczyk Foundation, Poznan. Mohr’s work has also been exhibited at Fundacion Banco Santander, Madrid; ZKM, Karlsruhe; MoMA, New York; Centre Pompidou, Paris; Museum Ritter, Waldenbuch; Museo Nacional Centro de Reina Sofia, Madrid; MoCA, Los Angeles; National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo; SFMOMA, San Francisco; Musée d'Art Contemporain de Montreal, Montréal; Muzeum Sztuki Lodz, Poland; Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin; MoMA PS1, New York; Leo Castelli Gallery, New York; and Galerie Paul Facchetti, both in Paris and Zürich. His work will be included in the forthcoming exhibition Electronic Superhighway at the Whitechapel Gallery, London, opening in January 2016.
Mohr is the recipient of an ACM SIGGRAPH Distinguished Artist Award for Lifetime Achievement in Digital Art; Golden Nica from Ars Electronica; the Camille Graesser-Preis, Zurich; D.velop Digital Art Award and a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship.