Manfred Mohr

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Manfred Mohr (b. June 8, 1938 in Pforzheim/Germany) is a digital art pioneer.[1] He has lived and worked in New York since 1981.

Life & career[edit]

Mohr started his career as an action painter and jazz musician. He began using the computer in 1969 because of a growing interest in creating algorithmic art. He lived in Barcelona in 1962 and in Paris between 1963 and 1983.

His early computer works are algorithmic and based on his former drawings with a strong attitude on rhythm and repetition. In 1990 he was awarded the Prix Ars Electronica (Golden Nica) at Ars Electronica festival in Linz, Austria. He maintained an art studio in Paris from 1963 to 1983. Mohr attended Kunst + Werkschule in Pforzheim and École des Beaux-Arts in Paris.

In 1968 he co-founded the seminar "Art et Informatique" at the University of Vincennes and in 1971 had a solo exhibit at ARC - Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris.[2] Since then, that exhibition has become known historically as the first solo show in a museum of works entirely calculated and drawn by a computer.

Recent solo exhibitions of his work include Art Basel "Art Features" with bitforms gallery NY in Basel,[3] DAM Gallery in Berlin, Mueller-Roth Gallery in Stuttgart, Carroll / Fletcher Gallery in London, bitforms gallery in New York, the Museum of Kulturspeicher in Würzburg, and Galerie Wack in Kaiserslautern.

Major retrospectives of his work include ZKM | Media Museum in Karlsruhe in 2013,[4] the Kunsthalle in Bremen in 2007, Joseph Albers Museum in Bottrop, Germany in 1998, and the Wilhelm-Hack-Museum in Ludwigshafen, Germany in 1987.

Mohr's work is collected by the Centre Pompidou in Paris, the Joseph Albers Museum, the Ludwig Museum in Cologne, the Museum for Concret Art in Ingolstadt, the Kunstmuseum Stuttgart, Musee d’Art Contemporain and Musée des Beaux-Arts in Montreal, the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, Musée de l'Élysée in Switzerland, and many others. Mohr has had numerous solo exhibitions in both museums and galleries in New York, Zürich, Cologne, Paris, Amsterdam, Stuttgart, Berlin, Montreal, São Paulo, and Seoul. Additionally, he has participated in group exhibitions at the Leo Castelli Gallery and at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

Mohr has received many awards including the 2013 ACM SIGGRAPH Distinguished Artist Award for Lifetime Achievement in Digital Art,[5] 2006 (ddaa) Digital Art Award Cologne/Berlin,[6] a fellowship from New York Foundation for the Arts in 1997, the 1990 Golden Nica [7] from Ars Electronica in Linz, the 1990 Camille Graeser Prize [8] in Zürich, and the 1973 Ljubljana Print Biennial. In 1994, the first comprehensive monograph on his work was published by Waser-Verlag in Zürich.[9]

Studies, Exhibitions, Prizes[edit]

1957 Kunst + Werkschule, Pforzheim (gold- and silversmith, painting) Jazz musician (tenor-sax, oboe)
1960 Action painting
1961 Received school prize (art) of the City of Pforzheim
1962 Began the exclusive use of black and white as means of visual and aesthetic expression
1965 Studied lithography at the Ecole des Beaux Arts, Paris Geometric experiments lead to hard edge painting
1968 First one-man exhibition at the Daniel Templon Gallery, Paris Systematization of the picture content
1969 Publication of the visual book 'Artificiata I'. First drawings with a computer.
1971 First one-man show of computer generated art in a Museum, ARC, Museé d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, Paris / France
1972 Sequential computer drawings are introduced Begins to work on fixed structures: the cube
1973 Received awards at the World Print Competition-73, San Francisco, and the 10th Biennial in Ljubljana
1977 Began to work with the 4-D hypercube and graph-theory
1980 Workphase: Divisibility, dissection of cube
1982 Quasi-organic growth programs on the cube
1987 First retrospective exhibition, Wilhelm-Hack-Museum, Ludwigshafen. Renewed work on the 4-D hypercube. Four-dimensional rotation as generator of signs
1989 Extended work to the 5-D and 6-D hypercube. Rotation as well as projection as generators of signs
1990 Received the Golden Nica at Ars Electronica in Linz and the 'Camille Graeser Prize' in Zürich
1991 Workphase: Laserglyphs, diagonal paths through 6-D hypercube are cut from steel plates with a laser
1994 The first comprehensive monograph on Manfred Mohr was published by Waser-Verlag, Zürich
1997 Was elected a member of the American Abstract Artists Receives an Artists' Fellowship from New York Foundation for the Arts
1998 Starts to use color (after using black and white for more than three decades) to show the complexity of the work through differentiation
2002 Designed and built small PCs to run his program "space.color" and since 2004 also the program "subsets". The resulting images are visualized on LCD flat panels in a slow, non repetitive motion
2006 Received the [ddaa] Digital Art Award (for digital pioneering- and original geometric research), Köln.
2013 Receives the ACM SIGGRAPH Distinguished Artist Award for Lifetime Achievement in Digital Art. Honored with retrospective show The Algorithm of Manfred Mohr, 1963-Now at ZKM - Media Museum, Karlsruhe and was chosen as Featured Artist, in a solo show at ArtBasel/Basel with bitforms gallery.

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