Vera Molnár, born Vera Gács on January 5, 1924 in Budapest, is the great French artist of Hungarian origin who pushed abstraction to the point of poetry. When she became French, Vera Molnár became Véra Molnar! We learn, through her gallery, that she died this morning, Thursday, December 7 in Paris, just before reaching her 100th birthday. Close to geometric abstraction, this artist of the beauty of chance is considered the pioneer of digital art and algorithmic art. In her very long artistic career, which has not been interrupted by the years, she has used a wide variety of materials and media. This witty woman drew, drew, painted, designed sculptures, programs, photographs, made installations, prints and artists' books.
It is with "deep sadness" that the Centre Pompidou has learned of the death of Vera Molnár. "She was 99 years old. A pioneer of computer coding in art, the artist, born in 1924 in Budapest, was currently working alongside Christian Briend, curator at the National Museum of Modern Art, on a major exhibition that will open in February 2024," the Parisian museum said in its statement.
3 black squares, 3 grey rectangles, 5 blue rectangles (1950); Four Randomly Distributed Items (1959); 9 Carré Rouges (1966): the titles are strict, the artist was lively and warm. Drawing on concrete art, Vera Molnár's work is based on simple geometric shapes and plays with visual perception effects.
Co-founder, in 1961, of the Groupe de recherche d'art visuel (Grav) with François Morellet and her husband, the artist and researcher François Molnár in particular, Vera Molnár was, in 1968, one of the first artists to make the computer her tool of choice, using algorithms. Already in 1959, she created her "imaginary machine", a simple program that stimulates a transformation of forms, combining instructions and prohibitions, deciding on shapes, colors, textures, materials, supports and drawing on a scroll the proposals she retains.
Always-on game with the computer
This winter, Vera Molnár presented One Hundred (or a Thousand) Ways of Doing Things, in the new space of the 8+4 gallery (13, rue d'Alexandrie in Paris, 2nd) from October 14, 2023 to January 20, 2024. "The indefatigable Vera Molnár has not said her last word! This disciple of Piet Mondrian and Sonia Delaunay is celebrating her 100th birthday on the front of the stage by being the subject of a truculent exhibition," the Parisian gallery was already pleased to say. "The artist, a true pioneer of digital art, has not stopped drawing and declining the pattern of her small crosses in recent months, to the point of covering an entire wall of the8+4 Gallery. One hundred crosses that symbolize as many years spent on Earth rethinking the codes of contemporary art, infusing a 'hint of disorder' into each of his appearances. This exhibition is no exception to the rule, exploring the thousand ways of doing and undoing, of building and deconstructing, to ultimately retain only the beauty of chance. »
In April 2022, the gallery launched its new creation, "2% de désordre en co-operation". "It was in 1968 that Vera Molnár started using a computer. But it is always in his brain that ideas germinate; The computer does not create the works for it. It's a quick and efficient tool about which she was able to say: "A lot of my work is done and often done by computer. But if they have any value, or if, on the contrary, they have none, the machine is in no way responsible for it. The computer, as surprising as it may be, is for the moment only a tool that allows the painter to be freed from the burdens of a sclerotic classical heritage. Its immense combinatorial capacity facilitates the systematic investigation of the infinite field of possibilities."
"Since the 1990s and until today, Véra Molnar's practice shows a kind of permanent game with the computer. Establishing a protocol, she thus creates images of all kinds, composing them in an entirely subjective way, by hand and with total modal freedom of workmanship, choice of forms and materials", stressed her gallery, which kept the hope of seeing her a hundred years old.