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

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.

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