Sous Les Etoiles Gallery is pleased to announce “Generative Color. Photographs,“ German photographer Gottfried Jäger’s first exhibition with the gallery showcasing his generative color work from the 1960s to the early 2000s. On Thursday, May 17, starting at 5:30PM an opening reception with Gottfried Jäger in attendance will be held, followed by an artist talk at 7:00PM with Manfred Mohr, a pioneer of digital art based on algorithms.
To Jäger, photography is not a reproductive process but a productive system. While pushing the boundaries of the medium in an almost performative manner, Jäger creates abstract geometric shapes representative of the techniques used. In 1968, Jäger developed the idea of Generative Photography, which in his words consists of “finding a new world inside the camera and trying to bring it out with a methodical, analytical system.” Jäger’s generative color work derives from the color spectrum and the refraction of white light. Whether analogical or digital, the work is not a representation of color but a reflection of it.
“Generative Color. Photographs” is a cross section exhibition of Gottfried Jäger’s exploration of the color spectrum made between 1965 and 2000; when he developed an “aesthetic of transition” through his use of multiple lenses and the use of algorithms and computer programs. In Jäger’s words, “The objective of my work is to induce a generative effect: to constantly provoke an endless generation of new forms and elements in a continuous process of renewal and rebirth. What is intended is not a standstill, but the image of an exchange, its infiltration, and its conversion. An aesthetic of transition.”
In Polarization, Jäger exposes cellophane using polarized light on photo-sensitive color paper. Pinhole Structures are Jäger’s early experimentations with Generative Photography, using the camera obscura (the pinhole camera). By creating a multi-pinhole camera, Jäger developed a system that produces unique geometric patterns. The Multiple Optics series is Jäger’s most diverse experimentation with color. The use of multiple lenses on a camera enabled Jäger to perform displacement and translation, therefore creating geometric compositions all designed in camera. Color Systems is a serial body of work representative of the color spectrum that uses multiple lenses as well. The contact of light with photo-sensitive color materials such as paper or negative and positive film generates color effects, producing Luminograms. Finally, through algorithmic experimentations, in Mosaics and Punctum Gottfried Jäger performed the combination of two generative systems: the camera obscura and the camera electronica.
Jäger has been part of some of the most iconic computer art exhibitions of the 1960s, such as New Tendencies (1969) in Zagreb, Experiments in Art and Technology (1968) at the Brooklyn Museum in New York and the groundbreaking Generative Fotografie (1968) at the Kunsthaus Bielefeld in Germany. Gottfried Jäger’s work is currently featured in a major group exhibition at the Tate Modern in London, Shape of Light: 100 Years of Photography and Abstract Art until October 2018.
Gottfried Jäger’s work is held in the permanent collections of the George Eastman House, Rochester; the Sprengel Museum, Hannover; the Museum Ludwig, Cologne; the Ruppert Collection, Museum Würzburg; the Museum Folkwang, Essen; the Fotomuseum im Münchner Stadtmuseum, Munich; the Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe, Hamburg; and the Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris.
Gottfried Jäger (b. 1937, Burg) currently lives and works in Germany, where since 2002 he has served as the photography advisor for the Peter C. Ruppert Concrete Art Collection at the Museum Kulturspeicher Wurzburg.
ABOUT MANFRED MOHR
Manfred Mohr is considered a pioneer of digital art based on algorithms. After discovering Prof. Max Bense’s information aesthetics in the early 1960’s, Mohr’s artistic thinking was radically changed. Within a few years, his art transformed from abstract expressionism to computer generated algorithmic geometry. Further encouraged by discussions with the computer music composer Pierre Barbaud whom he met in 1967, Mohr programmed his first computer drawings in 1969. Since then all his artwork is produced exclusively with the computer. Mohr develops and writes algorithms for his visual ideas. Since 1973, he generates 2-D semiotic graphic constructs using multidimensional hypercubes.
Mohr is the recipient of various awards including, the ACM SIGGRAPH Distinguished Artist Award for Lifetime Achievement in Digital Art (2013), the [ddaa] d.velop Digital Art Award (2006), the Golden Nica from Ars Electronica (1990) and the Camille Graesser-Preis (1990). Mohr’s work can be found in the collections of the Centre Pompidou, Paris; the Victoria and Albert Museum, London; the Kunstmuseum Stuttgart, Stuttgart; the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; the Esther Grether Collection, Basel and more.
Gottfried Jäger and Manfred Mohr met in September 1971 at a conference about the Computer and Textile Industry in Mainz, Germany. Mohr was presenting his new computer generated graphic designs, while Jäger showed slides of his and his friends’ generative photoworks. They bonded over Max Bense, Herbert W. Franke and others’ “Exact Aesthetics” and remained friends over the years. Gottfried Jäger and Manfred Mohr have been exhibited together numerous times in exhibitions such as Towards to Computer Arts (1970) and New Tendencies (1961 and 1973).
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