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Vera Molnár: VARIATIONS at Beall Center for Art + Technology

April 02, 2022 to August 27, 2022

In the mid-late 1960s Vera Molnar and a small group of other artists started to write their own computer programs to make their art. In these computer-generated works, the code becomes the medium and is made visible through a print-out, sound and or video. Once the code is written, the artist gives up control within a proscribed set of procedures that moves the plotter pen to create a drawing. And when the code is transformed to this analogue output, it reveals images and sounds that the artist and their audiences might never have imagined. Molnar created variations in her drawings by randomly controlling aspects of a shape or a line. By taking a look at the specific works in this exhibition, one may see how random operations are at the core of her computational drawings and how this represents a major paradigm shift from deterministic, systemic approaches to making more indeterminate art.

This exhibition includes Molnar’s work from 1958-2014, both her pre-computational and early computational drawings. The computational drawings in the exhibition focus on three kinds of objects: lines, squares, rectangle, scribbles each using a different algorithmic transformation.

As one of the pioneers of computational drawing, Molnar had her own unique vision of how to employ the computer. There is a constancy in her work in that movement is always revealed both within an individual work and also from drawing to drawing. Molnar’s technique continues to surprise and generate variations that produce a musical, kinetic play of line and shape.

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