1) Polygonzug 6/7/64 Nr. 2; 2) Rechteckschraffen 30/3/65 Nr. 1-4; 3-6) Quadrate Werden Rot by Frieder Nake

In 1963, while studying at the Technical University in Stuttgart, Frieder Nake developed a computer program to control a Zuse Graphomat drawing machine.


Ink on paper
1) 48 x 48 cm; 2) 47 x 47 cm; 3)-6) 44 x 44 cm (each)
Art Fund grant:
£6,000 ( Total: £12,698)
Acquired in:
DAM Gallery

Nake used the machine to create some of the world’s first computer-generated drawings, which he exhibited alongside works by his colleague Georg Nees at the Wendelin Niedlich Gallery in 1965. Together with Michael Noll, who was exhibiting his own computer-generated images in New York during the mid-1960s, Nake and Nees were known as the ‘3n’ – the forefathers of digital art. Created between 1964 and 1966, the six works acquired by the Victoria and Albert Museum are among Nake’s earliest computer-generated works. Polygonzug shows an apparently random polygonal shape generated by Nake’s algorithms, while Rechteckschraffen is made up of four groups of rectangular hatchings in overlapping blocks – some monochrome, others in colour. The later group Quadrate Werden Rot (‘Squares Turning Red’) features four grids of green squares, overlaid with a growing number of red squares.


The artist; DAM Gallery.

Venue details

V&A (Victoria and Albert Museum) Cromwell Road, London London SW7 2RL 020 7942 2000 www.vam.ac.uk

Entry details

50% off with National Art Pass

Daily, 10am – 5.45pm (Fri until 10pm)