Vera Molnar    


Artists Statement




First published in Vera Molnar. Lignes, Formes, Couleurs, cat. exhib. Vasarely Múzeum, Budapest 1990, p. 16 f.

In my search for a visual basis I started to design series. I applied very simple rules of combinatorial analysis and equally some very plain geometrical forms and step for step, introduced minor changes, either in the proportion of the basic element or in the way I joined them. My aim was not to create just any number of images; these series make sense as such that they provide me with the opportunity to juxtapose and test visual situations that are very similar. Friends of mine who are interested also perform such comparisons of my pictures with one another. The question is whether here and there, by placing them next to one another, one can produce a substantial change, a unique visual situation which could be called art. The underlying problem of my entire work is to capture this phenomenon, the ′epiphany′ of art. Working with series of pictures is like a visual dialogue between the painter and what has been painted. All stages of such a series naturally form small works of art in the traditional sense. They are samples, stages of painted research. I accept only a very small percentage of these visual possibilities. To me, my entire work has a hypothetical character.

To genuinely systematize my research series I initially used a technique which I called machine imaginaire. I imagined I had a computer. I designed a programme and then, step by step, I realized simple, limited series which were completed within, meaning they did not exclude a single possible combination of form. As soon as possible I replaced the imaginary computer, the makebelieve machine by a real one.

To avoid a false interpretation of my method I wish to emphasize that a large part of my work is designed and frequently carried out with the help of a computer; but whether these works have little value, if at all, is not the computer′s responsibility. This machine, as impressive as it may be, is after all merely a tool in the hand of the painter. I use the computer to combine forms, hoping that this tool will enable me to distance myself from what I have learned, from my cultural heritage and everything else that surrounds me; in brief, from the influences of civilization that define us. Thanks to its many possibilities of combination the computer helps to systematically research the visual realm, helps the painter to free himself from cultural ′readymades′ and find combinations in forms never seen before, neither in nature nor at a museum: It helps to create inconceivable images. The computer helps, but it does not ′do′, does not ′design′ or ′invent′ anything. To avoid another misunderstanding I wish to underline something else: The fact that something is new and has not been seen before is no guarantee in any manner for its aesthetic quality. Was the portrayal of a young man with curly hair − Dürer′s self-portrait from around 1500 − new?

My works are always created from the simplest of geometrical forms. This choice has its actual cause in my personal taste: I like the formal rigidity and the parsimony of geometry, I like the rational purity of mathematics. ′Nature can afford to be extravagant with everything, the artist must be totally efficient′, said Paul Klee; and I would agree.