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Vera Molnár Hungarian 1924—2023


'I use simple shapes because they allow me step by step control over how I create the image arrangement. Thus, I can try to identify the exact moment when the evidence of art becomes visible. In order to guarantee the systematic nature of this research, I use a computer.

One of the early pioneers of computer art, Vera Molnár's radical systems-based approach helped establish the parameters for contemporary intersections between art and technology. Her geometric abstractions are created using a rigorous compositional method, governed by a predetermined set of mathematical rules that foreshadowed the development of computers. 'My life is in squares, triangles, lines,' the artist once said, referring to her focus on elementary forms. In the 1960s, she began implementing simple algorithmic programmes by hand, a method referred to as her 'machine imaginaire'. This assisted her in working systematically through all the possible permutations of a series, following a sequence of instructions and self-imposed limitations.

In 1968, Molnár first gained access to a computer in a Sorbonne research lab and taught herself the early programming language Fortran, which allowed her to input endless algorithmic variations into the machine. Using a language of 0s and 1s, she could feed instructions into the computer, which were then outputted to a plotter that produced line drawings with a moving pen. She experimented with repetitions and variations of the letter M – as in Malevich, Mondrian and Molnár – which operates as an abstract sign while also paying homage to her predecessors. Convinced that there is never a single solution to an aesthetic problem, she experiments with serial variations within and across works. She also explores the slippages between order and chaos, deliberately introducing a '1% disorder' to allow for a systematically determined factor of chance to influence her works.

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  • Vera Molnár Hungarian 1924—2023
    Vera Molnár Hungarian 1924—2023
    Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac