Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
Request to view at the Prints & Drawings Study Room, level C , Case 3H, Shelf 24

Untitled, from the portfolio 'Art Ex Machina'

Print
1972 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

Hiroshi Kawano (b.1925, China) graduated from the department of Philosophy at the University of Tokyo in 1951, specialising in Aesthetics. He went on to receive a postgraduate qualification from the same institution in the Philosophy of Science in 1955 and a PhD from Osaka University in 1986. Like many early computer art pioneers, Kawano was highly influenced by the German philosopher Max Bense, who attempted to create a scientific model for understanding successful aesthetics. Kawano explored these theories using the computer.

It is thought that Kawano began writing his own computer programs in the early 1960s. Many of the results of his early computations were then transferred into more traditional media, such as screenprints like this, at which point Kawano could apply colour.

Kawano is said to have published some of the first computer-generated works of art in a journal in Japan in 1964. He went on to exhibit in the Tendencies 4 and 5 movement in Zagreb, Croatia. The archive of his works is now held by the Centre for Art and Media (ZKM) in Karlsruhe, Germany.

This version of the work is from the Art Ex Machina portfolio of six untitled prints by various artists, published in 1972. The artist has also called it Red Tree, a reference to the bold shapes in the centre of the image.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Additional TitleRed tree (assigned by artist)
Materials and Techniques
Screenprint from a computer-generated image
Brief Description
Screenprint, by Hiroshi Kawano, 1972, from the portfolio 'Art Ex Machina', six computer-generated screenprints by Barbadillo, Kawano, Knowlton, Mohr, Nake, Nees, with a statement by each artist and a text by Abraham A. Moles, edition 193/200, published by Gilles Gheerbrant, Montréal, 1972.
Physical Description
Screenprint from a computer-generated image, mounted on board and laminated.
Dimensions
  • Height: 28cm
  • Length: 21.8cm
Copy Number
193 of 200
Marks and Inscriptions
  • '193 / 200' (Edition number in blue ink in lower left side.)
  • 'Hiroshi Kawano' (Artist's signature in blue ink in lower right side.)
Gallery Label
Chance and Control: Art in the Age of Computers (2018) HIROSHI KAWANO (1925–2012) Untitled (Red Tree) Published by Gilles Gheerbrant (born 1946), Canada, 1972 Hiroshi Kawano was one of the earliest pioneers of computer-generated art in Japan. Like Georg Nees, he was influenced by Max Bense’s theory that computers had the power to dispel the mystery of art. Kawano believed that the artistic process could be taught to a computer and programmed, creating an autonomous machine that could make its own artistic judgements. From the portfolio Art Ex Machina Screenprint, after a computer-generated image made in Japan Given by the Computer Arts Society, supported by System Simulation Ltd., London Museum no. E.236:14-2008(07/07/2018-18/11/2018)
Credit line
Given by the Computer Arts Society, supported by System Simulation Ltd, London
Summary
Hiroshi Kawano (b.1925, China) graduated from the department of Philosophy at the University of Tokyo in 1951, specialising in Aesthetics. He went on to receive a postgraduate qualification from the same institution in the Philosophy of Science in 1955 and a PhD from Osaka University in 1986. Like many early computer art pioneers, Kawano was highly influenced by the German philosopher Max Bense, who attempted to create a scientific model for understanding successful aesthetics. Kawano explored these theories using the computer.



It is thought that Kawano began writing his own computer programs in the early 1960s. Many of the results of his early computations were then transferred into more traditional media, such as screenprints like this, at which point Kawano could apply colour.



Kawano is said to have published some of the first computer-generated works of art in a journal in Japan in 1964. He went on to exhibit in the Tendencies 4 and 5 movement in Zagreb, Croatia. The archive of his works is now held by the Centre for Art and Media (ZKM) in Karlsruhe, Germany.



This version of the work is from the Art Ex Machina portfolio of six untitled prints by various artists, published in 1972. The artist has also called it Red Tree, a reference to the bold shapes in the centre of the image.
Other Number
CAS/A/0009 - Previous owner's number
Collection
Accession Number
E.236:14-2008

About this object record

Explore the Collections contains over a million catalogue records, and over half a million images. It is a working database that includes information compiled over the life of the museum. Some of our records may contain offensive and discriminatory language, or reflect outdated ideas, practice and analysis. We are committed to addressing these issues, and to review and update our records accordingly.

You can write to us to suggest improvements to the record.

Suggest Feedback

record createdJune 8, 2009
Record URL