Charles A. Csuri
papers, black ink
Analogue Computer (modified pantograph device)
26 in. x 20 in. (66 cm x 51 cm)
After Piet Mondrian was based on _Pier and Ocean_, created in 1914 and now in the Museum of Modern Art, New York.
Charles A. Csuris first computer art, from 1963-64, was created with analogue technology. This work begins his detailed exploration of object transformation, specifically, the transformation of his drawings. Csuri gleaned the computers potential for making art at this time. However, he did not immediately abandon his oil paint, brushes, and canvas. Instead, a dialogue between traditional media and technology potential began. The art Csuri produced at this time, that survives today, includes nine works from the After the Artist series and two known oil paintings. For the After the Artist series, Csuri made sketches based on the works of early masters, such as Paul Cézanne, André Derain, and Albrecht Dürer. He then used a modified pantograph device to transform his drawings. Contemplation is an oil painting that bears no resemblance to his early landscapes and portrait paintings. Instead, it echoes his earliest exploration of art and technology. In Contemplation, Csuri used a pencil, oil paint, and canvas to reproduce the mechanical transformations of the pantograph. He first sketched a pencil line drawing on a gessoed canvas and then used oil paint to articulate the lines of the skewed faces. Reminiscent of his early paintings, Csuri then used the thick and rapid application of oil paint to define the figure at the far right. Together, Contemplation and the After the Artist series act as an artistic study of object transformation, revealing Csuris creative process in this early period. The viewer sees a bridge between techniques and forms and Csuris shift into a new phase of artistic development.
"This [technology] allowed me to systematically alter the original geometry of my drawing. One end of the pantograph device traced the drawing and the other end was simultaneously making transformations. I was intrigued with the idea of using devices and strategies to create art. I questioned the notion there had to be a tactile kinesthetic process to create a drawing or painting."
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Charles A. Csuri