Pioneering New Realms: "Themes and Variations" by Vera Molnár and Martin Grasser

Pioneering New Realms: "Themes and Variations" by Vera Molnár and Martin Grasser

July 26, 2023, will be remembered as a landmark moment in the digital art sphere. On this day, Sotheby's Gen Art unveiled "Themes and Variations," an extraordinary collaboration between pioneering computer artist Vera Molnár and Martin Grasser. This collection embodies the convergence of tradition and cutting-edge innovation, marking Molnár’s definitive entry into the rapidly expanding world of Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) and enriching her influential legacy in the digital art renaissance.

The Art: A Confluence of History and Innovation

"Themes and Variations" represents a notable expansion of Molnár’s '2 % d’ordre' generative protocol that melds the rigidity of the grid with the randomness of color. This unique blend was further augmented by the introduction of letters (N, F, T) – a recurring theme in her work for decades. Written in JavaScript and running live in the browser, this long-form algorithmic system operates on three fundamental principles: letter forms, color, and composition.

This collection of 500 unique generative outcomes, all personally curated by Molnár, explores the realms she first ventured into during the late 1960s when she pioneered the world of algorithmic art. "All these variations around letters resonate in me like music," Molnár once said, reflecting her passion for this form of expression.

The Sale: A New Chapter for Sotheby’s Gen Art

The sale of "Themes and Variations," facilitated by ArtBlocks Engine, was a spectacle in itself. It started with an edition of 500 unique generative artworks, with 20 pieces reserved for the artists, Sotheby’s, and partners. The entire edition has been successfully minted, with 0 pieces remaining as of July 27, 2023.

The auction opened with a starting price of 20 ETH. The price dropped in increments of 0.1 ETH every 15 seconds, until the artworks were sold out. This unique model is a testament to Sotheby's and Molnár’s innovative approach to digital art sales.

Themes and Variations Artist’s Book: A Token of Appreciation

As a memento of her debut long-form generative art series on the blockchain, Vera Molnár created 50 Artists’ books. This hardcover production is a first in her long-standing tradition of producing books.

The first 25 buyers of "Themes and Variations" will receive a signed copy of this exclusive book, to be delivered by fall 2023.

Looking Ahead: A New Era for Generative Art

The success of "Themes and Variations" speaks volumes about the future of generative art. Sotheby's newly launched Gen Art program aims to bring the works of the most talented and respected generative artists to market through exclusive new sales. As we move forward, we can expect the spotlight to shine on up to three artists a year, emphasizing the pivotal role of Generative Art in the overall digital art movement.

This momentous launch and its subsequent success mark a new era in digital art – an era where the boundaries between traditional art forms and technological innovation blur, giving rise to unparalleled creative expressions. As we continue to traverse this uncharted territory, we look forward to the new masterpieces that artists like Vera Molnár will unveil, one algorithm at a time.

Writer and Redlion's community manager. A big PixelArt lover and believe it or not I used to do some song writing as well 🥁

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