Vera Molnár, the Hungarian-French artist who was a pioneering figure in computer art and generative art, has died. Molnár, who moved to France when she was in her twenties, was a crucial member of the French art scene exploring the relationship between technology and the visual arts. She was a cofounder of the Groupe de Recherche d’Art Visuel in 1961, which was dedicaed to kinetic art, and then of Art et Informatique, a group dedicated to computer art. Molnár also learned early programming languages such as Basic, using them to make art with a computer. In her biography of Molnár for Archives of Women Artists Research & Exhibition (AWARE), Maïa Kantor cites that Molnár has described her work as situated ‘between the three “cons” [which also means “idiots” in French]: Conceptualists, Constructivists, and computers’.
In recent years, her work has seen renewed interest. She was included in the 59th Venice Biennale in 2022 and has produced a series of NFTs in 2023. Titled Themes and Variations, the work was a collection of 500 minted unique generative artworks that brought together her decades-long practice in digital art with the boom brought about with the introduction of NFTs. She also had a majoe solo show, Rof Molnár’s recent exhibition Variations at Beall Center for Art + Technology, Irvine, which Charlotte Kent reviewed for ArtReview.