One of the great names of algorithmic art. His work is most distinguished by its radically rational construction in ever increasing complexity.
Mohr’s career starts as a jazz improvisor on the saxophone. The lines and timbres of music have accompanied him after he had discovered the computer as the instrument he needed for the realization of his ideas. He wanted to generate complex and surprising images that would have a totally clear and transparent underlying structure. The algorithm is exactly the means to do this. In the algorithm he describes the totally determined structure that, when executed with the inclusion of pseudo-random numbers, surprises in all its detail. Step by step through his work phases, Mohr has explored more of the multidimensional cube. However, the cube and hypercube do not interest him as mathematical objects. He uses them as his source of visual complexity. In his absolute dedication to the idea of the rationalistically determined experiment, Mohr is comparable to Josef Albers, the researcher of the interaction of color.
1957-1961 Student at the School of Art and Crafts (gold- and silversmith, painting), Pforzheim, Germany
1959 Co-founder of a jazz club in a former butcher’s cellar in Pforzheim; plays tenor saxophone and oboe for Hard-Bop-Group and Jazzgroup 60
1960 Creative work decisively influenced by Art Informel (action paintings)
1961 Receives school prize (art) of the City of Pforzheim
1962 Decision in favour of an exclusive use of black and white in his pictures, development of a geometric pictorial language
1963-1983 Move to Paris and work in an Atelier.
1965 Student at the École des Beaux Arts, Paris (lithography).
Geometric experiments lead to hard edge painting which defines his pictorial world
1968 First one-man exhibition at the Daniel Templon Gallery, Paris
Systematization of the picture content
1969 First drawings with a computer. Learns programming and writes his first computer programme: production of the first plotter drawing at the Meteorological Institute of Paris after investigation into Max Bense’s information aesthetics and the possibilities of computer graphics.
Co-founder of the open seminar ‘Art et Informatique’ at the University of Vincennes, Paris.
Meets his life-partner Estarose Wolfson
Publication of his artist’s book ‘Artificiata I’
1971 The Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris (A-R-C) shows the exhibition ‘Manfred Mohr. Computer Graphics. Une esthétique programmée’. This represents the first recognition of computer-generated images in a one-man show exhibition held in a museum.
1972 Sequencial computer drawings are introduced. Mohr’s artistic investigations into the cube begins; up to the present day, this has remained the key motif of all work groups, having passed through a development from the three- to multi-dimensional cube
1973 Receives awards at the World Print Competition-73, San Francisco, and the 10th Biennial in Ljubljana
1973-1976 Experiments in the first computer animations as a 16mm film
1977 Investigation of the four-dimensional hypercube and Graph Theory.
1980 Workphase: Divisibility, dissection of cube
1981 Move to New York
1982 Quasi-organic growth programs on the cube
1987 First retrospective exhibition in the Wilhelm-Hack-Museum, Ludwigshafen, Germany.
Renews work on the 4-D hypercube. Four-dimensional rotation as generator of signs
1988 Solo show at Reuchlin Museum Pforzeim.
1989 Investigation of 5-D and 6-D hypercubes.
Rotation as well as projection as generators of signs
1990 Receives the ‘Golden Nica’ at Prix 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
1997 Is elected a member of the group ‘American Abstract Artists’.
Receives an Artists’ Fellowship from New York Foundation for the Arts
1998 Selected for Pioneering Artists, Siggraph Orlando, Florida.
1998 Retrospective – Quadrat Bottrop, Josef Albers Museum, Bottrop.
1999 Starts to use color (after using black and white for more than three decades) to show
the complexity of the work through differentiation.
2001 Retrospective – Museum for Konkrete Kunst, Ingolstadt.
2002 Extension of his artistic language to include moving pictures through the design and construction of small PCs for animation the program space.color. The resulting images are visualized in real time on LCD flat panels in a slow, non repetitive motion
2004 Animation of the program subsets.
2005 Museum im Kulturspeicher, Wurzburg.
2006 Mohr receives the second d.velop digital art award (for digital pioneering- and original geometric research) [ddaa], organized annually by the DAM Berlin, and endowed by the d.velop AG in Gescher.
2007 Retrospective – Grazyna Kulczyk Foundation, Poznan.
2007 One-man exhibition at the Kunsthalle Bremen.
2008 Retrospective – Kunstverein Pforzeim .
2011 Parallel Resonance. [DAM] Cologne & Berlin + bitforms Gallery, New York.