Math Goddess

Despite the fact the art world is rife with gender discrimination, a situation only compounded by historic barriers thwarting women's entree to computing, the title "Grande Dame of Digital Art" is one for which a host of pioneering artists could vie. Nonetheless, Berlin gallery [DAM] believes this designation belongs to Vera Molnar, whose experimental Plotter drawings will be exhibited at the space May 30th-July 12th. Made between 1969-1990, these color and black and white geometric images were preceded by her invention, in 1959, of a "Machine Imaginaire," a surreal algorithmic generator that presaged aesthetic computing by many years. The artist was a contemporary of Paul Klee and shared in his generation's fascination with systems. However, in a witty essay entitled "1% Disorder," she made clear that there is always an open space for chaos and creativity-- not unlike what Freud called "the naval" of the dream. It is this open space that allowed her to bring a human warmth to the rigidity of the mathematical languages she admired, like her own fever dream resulting from infection by what she called the "virus of visual experimentation." - Marisa Olson

Image: Vera Molnar, (Des)Ordres ((Un)Ordnungen), 1974

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