Computer Art Pioneer Vera Molnar Passes Away at 99

Vera Molnar, a Hungarian artist known as the godmother of generative art for her pioneering digital work, passed away on Dec. 7 in Paris at the age of 99. Her death was announced by the Pompidou Center in Paris, which will hold an exhibition of her work in February. Molnar lived in Paris since 1947. Her computer-aided paintings and drawings drew inspiration from geometric works by Piet Mondrian and Paul Klee and were eventually exhibited in major museums like the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Molnar faced skepticism early in her career for her work in computer-based visual art. She began employing the principles of computation years before gaining access to an actual computer in 1968. She had to learn early computer languages like Basic and Fortran and enter her data with punch cards, then waited several days for the results to be transferred to paper. Molnar continued to explore the tensions between machine-like perfection and chaos, with her art often being misunderstood by viewers. She entered the world of blockchain with her NFT series “Themes and Variations,” which sold for $1.2 million. Her work has been exhibited at the Venice Biennale and has gained recognition in recent years.

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