Manfred Mohr, ‘B-flat’, 1968, bitforms gallery

Location: edge of diagonal wall

Mohr's work is an important bridge between handmade manipulations and machine-calculated structures in art. Following a series of geometric experiments, a shift toward hard-edge painting by 1967 immediately preceded Mohr's use of the computer as a tool for art. In this period of work, his fascination with modern electronic hardware emerges, seen in his use of iconic shapes resembling schematics. Mohr's interest in electronic and circuitry, in part, predisposed him to being so adventurous in using computers for his art in the late 1960s.

During the Hard Edge phase (1966-69), Mohr introduced geometry and constructibility (but not yet the computer) into his work. In a subjective selection process, geometric elements influenced by electronic and other technical signs are created and distributed over the entire pictorial surface. They are mobile signs, that means, they are exchangeable signs. Since all signs (forms) are surrounded by a pictorial force, they create in their juxtaposition a network of abstract visual tension. his piece is representative of the works exhibited in Nov 1968 at Mohr's first solo exhibition with the Daniel Templon gallery in Paris, which showed his hard edge paintings.

The title of this piece references Mohr's activity as a jazz musician during this time.

About Manfred Mohr

Influenced by his experience as a jazz musician and by German philosopher Max Bense’s theories on rational aesthetics, Manfred Mohr has been an innovator in the field of computer-generated art. To manipulate, for example, the myriad variations of the 11-dimension hypercube, Mohr created algorithms in FORTRAN programming language and printed them on flatbed plotters before the advent of laser printers. Mohr’s “Klangfarben” series (2008) features paintings and digital animation of brightly colored diagonal lines and intersecting planes against a flat black background.

German, b. 1938, Pforzheim, Germany