The EURO Gallery 

Computed Contemporary Art

Manfred Mohr Exhibit 

Work of Art "P-306-O" by Manfred Mohr (1980/82). Acryl/ canvas/ wood 4-parts. 250 x 250 cm. Collection Wolfson/ Bourrows, USA

Piece "P-777_D" (2002/04). LCD Screen and PC

Piece "P-792_32" (2000-2007). Pigment ink on Canvas/ Wood

Piece "P1640_1322" (2014). Pigment ink on Canvas

Animation of liquid symmetry, program 3020 - Print-7,  inkJet on paper,   2020-21,   36 cm x 36 cm

Manfred Mohr was born in 1938 in Pforzheim (Germany). He studied lithography at the Ecole des Beaux Arts, in Paris. He turned from traditional painting to the computer in 1969 to realize his artistic interest in Constructivist art forms. He focused his artistic vocabulary and aesthetic expression by working only in black and white, not reverting to a color palette until 1998, using a plotter as output from the computer.

Manfred Mohr utilizes algorithms to engage rational aesthetics, a practice that invites logic to produce visual outcomes. While his career spans over sixty years, the intricacy of Mohr’s work with algorithms has only increased over the decades. Liquid Symmetry, the title of this exhibition and the artist’s latest work phase, contextualizes Mohr’s relationship to generative procedures, grounding pieces from 2021–2022 with both historical hand-drawn (1969) and plotter-drawn computer generated compositions. Exhibited works showcase Mohr’s generative procedures through custom software installations, aluminum reliefs, printed triptychs, and drawings on paper. As a true pioneer of digital art, Mohr has written algorithms since 1969. The artist’s algorithms, which he references as rules with a beginning and end, are built from imposed and random selection principles deemed as "aesthetical-filters” used to construct and calculate images. Artworks like P-014-1415 and P-016-7089 (Random Walk) from 1969 demonstrate early algorithms as hand-drawn computer calculations, a precursor to the artist’s 1970 use of the plotter, a computer controlled drawing machine. From 1969 onward Mohr worked exclusively with the computer, developing and writing algorithms for his visual ideas. A black and white color palette with varying shades of grey was utilized until 1999, when color entered Mohr’s work as a result of new parameters. In 2002, the artist began building his own computers to execute generative processes—non-repeating, real-time, screen-based animations. Generative procedures continue to inform his practice, resulting in the Liquid Symmetry series developed in 2020. This series is expressed in two different iterations—P3010 and P3011. Both work phases employ an algorithm where a diagonal path, together with its spatial symmetrical counterpart, passes through an 11-dimensional hypercube. The randomly colored line segments of the path move through 11-dimensional space, creating color fields when projected in 2-D. The hypercube, a geometric figure in four or more dimensions, is the main visual instrument of Mohr’s oeuvre. P3020-A reveals the algorithm behind Liquid Symmetry at work. Presented as custom-software, this algorithm is closely related to Mohr’s earlier work phase Artificiata II-traces (2012-15) which captured the history of n-dimensional rotations. P3020-A is exhibited alongside P2210-A to portray the similarities in rotated n-dimensional diagonal-paths projected in 2D. The white line segment in P3010 is associated and connected to a randomly chosen transparent color. The cube’s rotation leaves transparent color traces, and the overlapping transparency creates an unimaginable color space. The finished work is printed in dye-sublimation on an aluminum plate and bent by 10 degrees along the red symmetry line to emphasize the inherent symmetry relation of this artwork. The bent aluminum plate is fitted in a black aluminum frame. In the P3011 series, each white line segment is associated and connected to a randomly chosen opaque color, which while rotating, creates a solid color shape. The algorithm can choose either one color or multiple colors for these line segments. In this work, the algorithm creates unpredictable and unimaginable color-shapes that are printed in dye-sublimation on aluminum and laser-cut to form a metal relief. From 1969 to today, Mohr’s artworks continue to transcend imagination through the expression of points, lines, squares, cubes, and their relationships through algorithms applied to different dimensions. This exhibition is accompanied by a catalog titled Liquid Symmetry. bitforms gallery would like to thank Margit Rosen for her contribution of the essay, ”The Whole Thinking Becomes Me” to this publication.