Culture & Art

Machine Imaginaire: Vera Molnar’s exhibit of computer art now open

The works of the Hungarian artist, who has lived in Paris for 70 years, will be exhibited in Debrecen.

An exhibition of the special computer works of Vera Molnar, a Hungarian artist who has lived and worked in Paris for 70 years, opened on Saturday at the Modem Center for Modern and Contemporary Art in Debrecen.

The director of the museum, Edit Koroknai, noted that Vera Molnar is a pioneer of computer art, creating works that perfectly reflect her personality and imagination despite her medium of a computer — a very impersonal machine.

Following the principle of “machine imaginaire,” Vera Molnar laid the foundations for an algorithmic work of art based on aesthetics. She defined a machine that operates according to a program, which then generates a work of art per specific rules.  Koroknai emphasized that the program and rules decided upon by the artist are as much a part of the work as the structure of the algorithm.

Molnar, who worked away from the spotlight for many years, held her first solo exhibition of geometric abstract works at the age of 52 at the Polytechnic of Central London in 1976.

The curator of the exhibition, Szabolcs Süli-Zakar, said that “Vera Molnar’s art is particularly unique, different from the main directions followed by other artists at the time. Her visual thinking is mostly algorithmic, with mathematics, playfulness, and chance playing an important role in her works.” The curator added that together with her husband, François Molnar, they developed their own system by leveraging the connection between modern science and art, which in many respects foreshadowed the artistic and technical developments for a decade to come.

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