Vera Molnár: VARIAZIONI ICÔNE opens at the Accademia d’Ungheria in Rome curated by Francesca Franco. The Mayor Gallery has contributed several works for this show which runs through to the 3 March 2024. Fully illustrated catalogue is available for the exhibition.
Molnar (b. 1924 Budapest, Hungary) studied at the Budapest College of Fine Arts before moving to Paris in 1947 meeting Constructivist artists such as Jesus Rafael Soto and Victor Vasarely who shared an interest in exploring compositions based on simple geometric shapes and themes.
A co-founder of GRAV (Groupe de Recherche d’Art Visuel), 1960, including Julio LeParc and François Morellet, they investigated collaborative approaches to mechanical and kinetic art. Molnar was always fixated on geometric forms and creating system-based art. ‘My life is squares, triangles, lines. I am mad about lines.’
Pre-dating the computer, she invented algorithms or “machine imaginaire” that created images by following a set of pre-ordained compositional rules creating colourful abstract geometric works. Her breakthrough came in 1968 when she gained access to a computer at a research lab after teaching herself the early programming language of Fortran and could now program endless variations of algorithms through a machine. A laborious process, Molnar, using a language of 0s and 1s, fed the commands into the computer on punched cards or paper tape which were then outputted to a plotter which conveyed the image directly to paper via a moving pen or pencil. This method allowed her to investigate endless variations in geometric shape and line.
Featured artwork: Vera Molnár, Untitled (MV457-3), 1974,
Computer drawing, 36 x 55 cm, 14 1/8 x 21 5/8 inches