Or are you looking for Search the Archives?

Please complete the form to email this item.

print - Art Ex Machina
  • Art Ex Machina
    Nees, Georg, born 1926 - died 2016
  • Enlarge image

Art Ex Machina

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    Germany (made)
    Montreal (published)

  • Date:

    1972 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Nees, Georg, born 1926 - died 2016 (artist)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    printer's ink, paper, screenprint

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    On short term loan out for exhibition

Georg Nees (1926-2016) is considered one of the founders of computer art and graphics. He was also one of the first people to exhibit his computer graphics, at the studio gallery of the Technische Hochschule in Stuttgart in February 1965. Nees studied mathematics and physics at the universities of Erlangen-Nuremberg and Stuttgart. He subsequently worked for Siemens as a software engineer, and was instrumental in their purchasing a 'Zuse Graphomat', a drawing machine operated by computer-generated punched tape. The machine was capable of creating geometric patterns and, although the programming language that Nees used (ALGOL) was designed specifically for scientific computers, Nees used it to create aesthetic images such as this one.

Physical description

Purple and green squares

Place of Origin

Germany (made)
Montreal (published)


1972 (made)


Nees, Georg, born 1926 - died 2016 (artist)

Materials and Techniques

printer's ink, paper, screenprint


Height: 28 cm, Length: 21.8 cm

Descriptive line

Art Ex Machina portfolio proof, silkscreen print after plotter drawing by Georg Nees, 1972

Labels and date

Chance and Control: Art in the Age of Computers (2018)

GEORG NEES (1926–2016)
Art from the Machine (Art Ex Machina)
Germany, 1972

Georg Nees was a student of the German philosopher Max Bense and was heavily influenced by his ideas. Nees was inspired by Bense’s theory of information aesthetics, which attempted to establish a scientific model for creating, or understanding, artistic production. He believed that through statistical analysis of images, it was possible to codify the process of creating art and ‘program the beautiful’.

Screenprint, after a computer-generated drawing
Museum no. E.2779-2016 [07/07/2018-18/11/2018]

Production Note

Artist's proof for Art Ex Machina portfolio, published by Gilles Gheerbrant. According to the publisher, the variant prints "were published at the same time but separately and in a much smaller, more limited edition." - letter to the V&A, 17/11/2010


Paper; Ink


Silkscreen print



Production Type

Artist's proof


Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

Large image request

Please confirm you are using these images within the following terms and conditions, by acknowledging each of the following key points:

Please let us know how you intend to use the images you will be downloading.