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Print - Sculpture 1 (Plastik 1)
  • Sculpture 1 (Plastik 1)
    Nees, Georg, born 1926 - died 2016
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Sculpture 1 (Plastik 1)

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    Germany (made)

  • Date:

    1965-1968 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

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

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Screenprint after a computer milled aluminium plate

  • Credit Line:

    Given by the Computer Arts Society, supported by System Simulation Ltd, London

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level C, case 3H, shelf 23

Georg Nees (born 1926, Nuremberg) 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, he used it to create aesthetic images such as this one.

In 1969 he received his doctorate on the subject of Generative Computer Graphics under Max Bense, the German philosopher and writer.

This screenprint was created from the design for a sculpture that Nees produced using a machine that could mill, or cut, a 3D shape. The machine followed the computer calculated image as a guide. The artist used a random number generator to determine the height, width and depth of the rectangular forms. The data for each of these three dimensions would be stored on magnetic tape and used to drive an automatic milling machine. The sculpture from which this screenprint derives was cut from a block of wood and was displayed at the Venice Biennale in 1969.

Physical description

Screenprint, mounted on board. Depicts a series of adjoining silver and grey cubes of three different sizes, set on a black background. The grey shading gives an illusion of three-dimensionality.

Place of Origin

Germany (made)


1965-1968 (made)


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

Materials and Techniques

Screenprint after a computer milled aluminium plate

Marks and inscriptions

Computer text in lower right side. 'Siemens-system 4004' refers to the digital computer used in the creation of the work. 'Zuse-graphomat' was a punched tape controlled drawing machine.


Height: 75.5 cm, Width: 68.7 cm

Descriptive line

Screenprint after a computer milled aluminium plate, 'Plastik 1', 1965-1968, by Georg Nees.

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Herzogenrath, Wulf and Nierhoff-Wielk, Barbara, eds. Ex-Machina - Frühe Computergrafik bis 1979. Munich: Deutscher Kunstverlag, 2007. ISBN 978-3-422-06689-2. p. 440, ill.

Production Note

Attribution note: Software: ALGOL-program and EXAPT-1-program
Hardware: Siemens-Digitalrechner 4004 (Siemens - digital computer 4004)
Output device: milling machine.


Mounting board; Printing ink; Paper (fiber product)


Screenprinting; Computerized composition


Computer Art


Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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