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Lithograph - Return to Square

Return to Square

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    Japan (Made in Japan, 1967/68
    Printed in England, 1968, made)

  • Date:

    1968 (printed)

  • Credit Line:

    Acquired from Motif Editions in 1970.

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level C, case 3H, shelf 26

This is one of a set of seven lithographs by different artists, published by Motif Editions in connection with Cybernetic Serendipity, a major exhibition held at London's Institute of Contemporary Arts in 1968. The portfolio includes two works by the Computer Technique Group, plus single works by Charles Csuri and James Shaffer, William Fetter, Maughan S. Mason, Donald K. Robbins, and Kerry Strand. The complete set was acquired by the Museum in 1969, at a cost of £5.

The original plotter drawing for Return to Square (a) was created by members of the Computer Technique Group in late 1967 or early 1968, at the IBM Scientific Data Centre in Tokyo. The book published to coincide with the Cybernetic Serendipity exhibition includes the following information about the artwork:

"Return to square (a)
A computer metamorphosis. A square is transformed into a profile of a woman and then back into a square.
Idea by Masao Komura, programme by Kunio Yamanaka (CTG) (p.75)

The text goes on to describe a related image:

"Return to square (b)"
One of two works on this theme. Return to square 9 (a), however, is programmed according to an arithmetic series, and this one is programmed according to geometrical progression" (p.75)

Early references to the group include the English language spelling Komura, but the artist himself prefers the spelling Kohmura.

Physical description

Side profile of a head, composed of black lines framed within and around a square

Place of Origin

Japan (Made in Japan, 1967/68
Printed in England, 1968, made)


1968 (printed)


Height: 75.4 cm, Length: 50.6 cm

Object history note

Cybernetic Serendipity (Institute of Contemporary Arts 01/01/1968-31/12/1968)

Descriptive line

Lithograph after a computer-generated drawing, entitled 'Return to Square', by the Computer Technique Group, 1967/68. From the Cybernetic Serendipity collector's set.

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

Taken from Departmental Circulation Register 1969

Production Note

Published by Motif Editions, London


Paper; Ink

Production Type

Limited edition


Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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