Manfred Mohr
P-103n, Visual Pythagoras, 1972
Four plotter drawings, ink on paper
12.9 x 12.9 in / 33 x 33 cm, each

A series of 4 drawings:
1) Defines a square space
2) Divides the space into a given number of rectangles
3) Draws 1 diagonal from each rectangle
4) Creates a square over each diagonal filled with parallel lines

Typical of his early algorithmic work, this piece links line to language, process and conceptual systems. Mohr calculated the image using a program that he authored in the FORTRAN language. Setting the parameters for each composition, randomly generated sets of elements are created.

Mohr’s work is an important bridge between handmade manipulations and machine-calculated structures in art. His demonstrated interest in process, language and line texture are revealed in in early abstract painted works, prior to his discovery of the computer as a tool for art. This particular drawing is part of Mohr’s early algorithmic work phase (1969-72, following an interest in hard edge painting) which emphasized a “formalism” of the software medium: logical and automatic construction of pictures.

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