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Art Basel 44
bitforms gallery / Hall 2.0 / Booth G9
June 13-16, 2013
Fifty Years – Réflexions sur une esthétique programmée
bitforms gallery is pleased to announce its participation in Art Basel, taking place June 13-16, in Basel, Switzerland. For the art fair’s 44th edition, the gallery will present a survey of Manfred Mohr’s drawings and sequenced constructions, spanning the years 1963 to 2013. The display features rare, early works in ink on paper, and a selection of later paintings and projects. It also includes Cubic Limit, a recently transferred 16mm film that was created algorithmically in 1973-74, as well as documentation from Mohr’s first solo exhibitions in Europe.
Long recognized as an influential figure of the software art genre, Mohr began working computationally in 1969. The origins of his logical systems are rooted in pure language – even chaotic surrealistic use of language – which can be observed in his drawings and paintings from 1963, created at age 25. In this period, Mohr studied in Germany and at the École de Beaux-Arts in Paris. He discovered the theoretical writings of the German philosopher Max Bense in the early 1960s, and later would write in the FORTRAN programming language to create concrete compositions.
In May 1971, the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris opened Manfred Mohr: Computer Graphics – Une Esthétique Programmée. The solo exhibition has since become known as the first museum display of artworks that were entirely calculated and drawn by a digital (rather than analog) computer. Revolutionary for its time, Mohr’s drawings signaled a new era of image creation, setting in motion a trajectory of modernism and information aesthetics.
Manfred Mohr: Fifty Years – Réflexions sur une Esthétique Programmée reveals, through Mohr’s artwork, a critical period of development in media arts. Marked by the 1971 exhibition in Paris, his work is an important bridge between handmade manipulations and machine-calculated structures in art. Mohr’s demonstrated interest in process, language, and line is revealed in early abstractions, created prior to his use of the computer as a tool for art.