Vera Molnár

CONCEPTS (copied from class notes)

Recreating her past- 

Constructivism. During this period, she also took the work of Piet Mondrian and Paul Klee as starting points for her own investigations.

Rules –
#combination #permutation #purposefullyrandom #aestheticshock

For her, art was not about starting over or making a break. It was about pushing it forward into new areas of perception. Basic to this investigation was the relationship between the line and mathematics — what kind of rules could be used to make a drawing? Rules, of course, are central to three-point perspective and to Islamic geometric design. Josef Albers worked according to rules to learn how color interacted. LeWitt set up rules so that others could make his drawings.

Mystics > rationalists- 

The journey she undertook is dazzling. Although there is nothing in the show to indicate Molnar’s beliefs, other than her devotion to establishing and following a strict set of rules, I was reminded of the opening statement in Sol LeWitt’s Sentences on Conceptual Art (1969): “Conceptual artists are mystics rather than rationalists. They leap to conclusions that logic cannot reach.” The fact that she was a pioneer in the use of the computer and, by LeWitt’s definition, can be considered a conceptual artist gives us a glimpse into the unique terrain that Molnar occupies.



This week’s homework is to recreate some of her work. I especially enjoyed the rectangle series because of their bold and minimalistic qualities. The composition (position and rotation), size, color saturation become very apparent when there is less to look at. As a result I chose to create the studies below.

For this first week I used p5.js

My personal takeout from recreating her work:

  • It’s not the expected parameter to change because it’s not to achieve a perfect composition or symmetry
  • Wonder if she starts by hand / learning to look closer at what parameters make it feels like she did this by hand?





download - 2020-05-27T172453.221

Code (click for variations):

Surprising line of code (key ingredient?):

  • The random number of squares in each of the 9 squares
  • The difference in tightness between columns and rows

Feelings: shakey, vibration, buzzy, much like sound visualisation



download (71)


download - 2020-05-27T170450.380

Code (click for variations):

Surprising line of code (key ingredient?):

  • The perception of tightness comes from both sizes and positions, how to balance?

Feelings: abstracted waves, order in chaos, trying to make sense





download - 2020-05-27T212406.142

Code (click for variations):

Feelings: cracked, movement, unstable, trying to hold together





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Code (click for variations):

Feelings: overwhelming, pattern finding, lost, dizzy



Screen Shot 2563-05-28 at 10.10.38


Feelings (very different for each variation): 1 watching it fall, 2 chasing, 3 holding tight in position while the other falls, 4 falling together


Other experiments: having done a few copies I tried my own. Here I tried to visualise the feeling of a tight fit that is almost perfect. And the two squares trying to fit together.

This may have been better if the square was actually different from the hole?

More favorites:

Screen Shot 2563-05-27 at 21.40.51

Relationship between the left and right side? What if these were off slightly?

Screen Shot 2563-05-27 at 21.42.56

Very right. Different levels of tightness gives different feelings? Left: rigid, fitted, can’t move, perfect. Middle: calculated rightness, structural integrity. Right: breathable, crunched. (are these all just relative?)

Screen Shot 2563-05-27 at 21.52.58

How to create this sense of depth in 2D?

Screen Shot 2563-05-27 at 21.57.08

Perfect overlaps. Unexpected blend? The high contrast makes me more dramatic. I got started on this last one but realised it needed to be drawn with points for the perfect overlaps. How does blend mode work?


Computer Grass is Natural Grass:

Sentences from reading:

  • It may take a life-time to develop a computer program to make one new communicating pen line which is meaningful for us.
  • What my hand-eye draws is different from what the computer draws. A computer helps by offering new visual ideas. These ideas in turn enrich new hand work which generates additional ideas which extends my thinking about computer generated lines.
  • That it is possible to use mathematical formalism and pure geometry while attempting a humanistic exploration to us is one of the primary advantages of the use of the computer as a drawing medium.

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