Manfred Mohr - Artificata II (London)
Date: Fri, 12 Feb 2016 - Sat, 02 Apr 2016
Venue: Carroll/Fletcher Gallery, London
For his second exhibition at Carroll / Fletcher, digital art pioneer Manfred Mohr presents a series of new pieces mapping his formal investigations of theoretical space in generative screen-based works, drawings, and inkjet paintings.
One of the very first artists ever to produce drawings on a computer, Mohr originally trained as a painter, and has made rigorously minimal paintings and drawings since the late 1950s. Abstract Expressionism informed his early works, but the artist rapidly grew suspicious of the lack of control inherent to most expressionist practices. Inspired by philosopher Max Bense's thinking that a 'clear and logical' form of art making was possible – and indeed desirable – Mohr began to develop what he called a 'programmed aesthetic' while based in Paris in the 1960s. He soon introduced algorithms and formal rules to his painting process in order to generate artworks that conveyed his vision in a more rational way. During the same period, he met composer Pierre Barbaud, known for his role in shaping early 'algorithmic music,' an encounter that alerted him to the artistic possibilities afforded by then-fledgling computer technologies.
Artificiata II gathers several animated mappings of the hypercube alongside a selection of images drawn from this process, what the artist calls 'êtres graphiques'. The exhibition is a continuation of Mohr's investigations into geometric abstraction as visual music, which is inherent to his practice and emphasised in Artificiata I, his first artist book. Featuring hand-drawn pieces from 1969, these were the last works the artist ever produced manually.Artificiata II is presented here alongside the original drawings from Artificiata I. Exhibited together for the very first time, these works are a testament to both Mohr's rigorous consistency and depth of research.
Manfred Mohr's work is also presented in the exhibition Electronic Superhighway curated by Omar Kholeif at Whitechapel Gallery in London.