press release

bitforms gallery is pleased to announce its second solo exhibition with computer art pioneer Manfred Mohr. His new series of abstract paintings and animations continue to challenge contemporary notions of fine art process and form. The exhibition subsets opens Thursday, January 19, 2006 at 6pm with a reception for the artist, and runs through February 25. Gallery hours are 11 am to 6 pm Tuesday through Saturday.

The rules of geometry, logic, and mathematics are fundamental to the customauthored algorithms which generate Manfred Mohr's artwork. subsets presents a body of paintings and animations based on the 11-dimensional hypercube. His algorithms have been based on the logical structure of cubes, including the lines, planes and relationships among them since 1973. For the past three decades Mohr has worked specifically with the n- dimensional hypercube.

The pieces in this exhibition display a subset, or part, of a complete 11-D hypercube structure that rotates slowly in eleven dimensions before a green background. The artist's software selects this subset of cubes from the 42240 possible cubes within a 11-D hypercube, and also determines which sides of each cube are black or white. The artworks are realized as both unique paintings in pigment-ink on canvas, and screen-based animations generated directly from the artists' source code running on a handmade personal computer.

Having been active as a jazz musician in the early 1960s, Mohr explains his work as visual music. Mohr's minimalist process and algorithmic understanding are influenced by French composer Pierre Barbaud, the first person in Europe to create musical compositions on a computer, and the German philosopher Max Bense who wrote extensively about a programmed aesthetics. In 1967 Mohr gave up action painting in favor of creating geometric works, which in 1969 evolved into working exclusively with computers, focusing on the logical content of his ideas. Mohr, at that time, began writing algorithms with a computer and using mechanical plotter to physically form his ideas. He also developed a special relationship, which lasted 11 years, with the Paris Institut Météorologique who granted him access to equipment on which he could work.

Mohr co-founded the "Art et Informatique" seminar in 1969 at Vincenne University in Paris, and his first major solo museum exhibition, Une esthétique programmée, took place in 1971 at the Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris. That exhibition has become known historically as the first solo show in a museum of works entirely calculated and drawn by a computer. During that show Mohr demonstrated for the first time in public a Benson flatbed plotter and the production of computer-generated drawings.

Manfred Mohr
new paintings and animations