À la recherche de Vera Molnar | Ludwig Museum

Refik Anadol, Arno Beck, Snow Yunxue Fu, Mario Klingemann, Patrick Lichty, Vera Molnar, Frieder Nake, Casey Reas, Antoine Schmitt, Erwin Steller, Tamiko Thiel And /P, U2p050, Iskra Velitchkova, Aurèce Vettier, Mark Wilson, Samuel Yan

10/2 – 14/4 2024

Curators | Richard Castelli, Zsófia Máté

Ludwig Museum | Budapest | Hungary

The exhibition pays tribute to the artistic legacy of Vera Molnar, who passed away shortly before her 100th birthday. Born in Hungary and educated at the Hungarian Academy of Fine Arts, Molnar lived and created in France from 1947 until her death. From 1968, she was among the first to create artworks using a real computer, and she is still widely regarded as one of the most significant pioneers of computer art.
The exhibition’s title refers to Vera Molnar’s series À la recherche de Paul Klee, recalling the artist’s experiments in examining art historical influences through her own creative methods and tools. Similar to the narrator of Marcel Proust’s novel sequence À la recherche du temps perdu (In Search of Lost Time), Molnar was interested not only in the mere recall of the past but also in its reinterpretation in the context of the present.
Following this spirit, the two-part exhibition at the Ludwig Museum provides an overview of pivotal chapters in Vera Molnar’s career. Displaying unique and reproduced graphic series and paintings, the exhibition spans from the late 1960s to the present day, presenting the most significant themes and art groups of this unique body of work, tracing the transformations in Molnar’s line and form systems.
Vera Molnar’s works are based on programmed algorithms, constructed from basic geometrical forms. In the beginning, she experimented with quite simple algorithms. Her series works arise from small variations of the basic elements, adding what the artist calls “1% disorder.” Discovery and randomness played a significant role in her working method. For Molnar, the randomness generated by the computer revealed the horizon of possibilities, but the decision and choice always remained in the hands of the artist. Balancing on the border between order and disorder, her compositions combine the geometric formal language with playfulness and a personal, unique sensitivity.
The other part of the exhibition introduces, for the first time worldwide, a special international group exhibition featuring works and unique reflections by invited internationally acknowledged artists. This section pays homage to Molnar’s legacy, and examines her impact on contemporary art.