Vera Molnar + early digital art's influence on generative art today
To some, the world of generative art and NFTs appears to have skyrocketed into the mainstream out of nowhere. Connoisseurs know, computer art has been a practice extending much further back than the 21st century.
Vera Molnár, a pioneer of computer and generative art, started working with algorithmic paintings in 1968 and is one of the first women to use computers in her practice. Her influence can be seen within generative crypto art today.
In this webinar we will speak to Anne and Michael Spalter, renowned collectors of early digital art, Zsofia Valyi-Nagy, whose PhD research is centred around Molnar's work, and art advisor Georg Bak. The discussion will focus around Molnar's influence on the digital art of today, only a few months before she celebrates her 98th birthday.
Digital mixed-media artist Anne Spalter is an academic pioneer who founded the original digital fine arts courses at Brown University and The Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) in the 1990s and authored the internationally taught textbook, The Computer in the Visual Arts (Addison-Wesley, 1999). Her artistic process combines a consistent set of personal symbols with a hybrid arsenal of traditional mark-making methods and innovative digital tools. A new body of work, further developed at a recent residency at MASS MoCA, combines artificial intelligence algorithms with oil paint and pastels. She is currently creating NFT art works.
Michael Spalter is the chairman of the board of the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD). He was on the advisory boards of Harvard University’s cultural entrepreneurship program and the Nantucket Project. In 2017, Michael was tapped for the Whitney Museum of American Art’s inaugural Digital Art Acquisition Committee. He also served as a Trustee on the International Council of the Louvre for 5 years co-chairing its first permanent endowment.
Zsofi Valyi-Nagy is a PhD candidate in Art History at the University of Chicago interested in postwar art, technology, and gender. She is currently based in Paris at the Centre André Chastel: Laboratoire de recherche en histoire de l'art as a Fulbright predoctoral fellow. Her dissertation project, “Vera Molnar’s Programmed Abstraction: Computer Graphics and Abstract Art in Postwar Europe” has received support from the Dedalus Foundation, the DAAD, and the Center for Advanced Studies in the Visual Arts at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC. Zsofi is also a practicing artist.
Georg Bak served in senior positions for Hauser & Wirth in Zurich and London and as an art advisor at LGT Bank in Zurich before running his own gallery SCHEUBLEIN + BAK in Zurich for seven years. He specialized in generative art and curated shows such as “Thinking in Algorithms“, “Against Photography“ and “Perfect & Priceless. Value Systems on the Blockchain“. He currently advises digital art collectors and companies in the blockchain industry. He is also on the curatorial board of RARE Art Festival in New York and is an independent curator of digital art exhibitions.