Group Shows in Chelsea – Part 1: Jankossen Contemporary Gallery

One of the fun things about NYC in the late Spring and Summer is the thematic group shows at many of the galleries. If the unifying theme is of the more conceptual variety, it is often an opportunity to find Mathematical art.

At the Jankossen Contemporary Gallery the exhibition, titled “Monochrome” has Dieter Kränzlein’s white marble wall relief on display. Viewed from the front it is all about the precision of the square grid. But from the side you can see the rough surface of one face of each of the marble cubes.

More groups shows in a few days.

Susan Happersett


Charles Ginnever at Storm King

Storm King Arts Center is a world-renowned sculpture park located about a hour North of Manhattan near the Hudson River. The permanent collection of the park features a number of works with Mathematical themes. Charles Ginnever’s steel sculpture “Prospect Mountain Project ( For David Smith)” from 1979 is an excellent example.
The work is comprised of a giant parallelogram that has been sliced diagonally into three parallel strips that are also parallelograms. Each strip has been folded twice at vertical creases. They are connected at two points along the lines of the folds.
The two side sections have the steel bending forward and the center parallelogram has the folds towards the back. This not only gives the flat plane of the metal sheet a 3-dimensional presence, but it also allows the sculpture to stand securely directly on the ground. The weathered organic texture of the steel contrasts with the hard edges of the geometry. The sculpture complements the natural surroundings of the park.
Susan Happersett

Julia Dault at Marianne Boesky Gallery

The Marianne Boesky Gallery is currently presenting the solo exhibition “Julia Dault: More Than Words. Using industrial materials”. Dault has created a series of wall sculptures that explore the distortion of parallel lines.
In the sculpture “Cherry Bomb” from 2018,  made of powder coated hand-rolled aluminum, the two figures each consist of a series of vertical parallel straight lines joined at the bottom by a horizontal bar but as the lines get higher they start to warp and bend.
“Blue Angel” also from 2018 is a lozenge shape where part of the form has a covertness quality with each line equal distance apart. By pushing the lines closer together in the top left section Dault has created an irregular shaped negative space in the center. altering the distance between the rings creates a sense of movement.
Susan Happersett

Ricardo Cardenas at De Buck Gallery

The exhibition “Abstractions of Nature” at De Buck Gallery features Cardenas’ sculptures and wall installations. Created using a multitude of small, painted, stainless steel wires these works remind me of the practice of cross hatching, used when drawing. In a drawing an artist would use short almost straight lines to built a gradient of lines from light to to dark to form the illusion of depth and shadow. This would give a 2-D drawing the illusion of 3-D space.
Here is gallery view of “Yellow Nest” and “White Nest” both from 2018. Cardenas has built curved surfaces in 3-D space using only small lines of stainless steel.
This close up view of “Yellow Nest”  shows the intricate architecture  within each sculpture. Inspired by nature and educated as a civil engineer, Cardenas presents elegant constructions with  biomorphic sensibilities.
Susan Happersett

Beryl Korot at bitforms gallery

Beryl Korot is well known for her work in the 1970’s that juxtaposes the art of weaving with modern technology. Her current exhibition “Beryl Korot: A Coded Language” at bitforms gallery follows her work from 1980 up to and including new work from 2017.
In the entryway of the gallery there is this chart that outlines her algorithm for translate the alphabet into a series of weaving rules.
This set of transformation becomes procedure to create “Babel1”, acrylic on hand woven linen, from 1980. This piece is the Tower of Babel story from the bible transcribed into a textile.
I think “Babel 1” is a fantastic example of algorithimically generated art. I am so happy that bitforms presented Korot’s schematic cart allowing the viewer a complete visualization of her artistic process.

Paul Resika at Steven Harvey Fine Arts projects

The exhibition “Paul Resika: Geometry and the Sea” features recent paintings that blend landscape painting with geometric abstraction.

“Triangle-Sun” from 2017 features three triangles, two of them are right triangles, in the foreground. In the background Resika paints a more atmospheric sky and yellow sun.
“The White Moon”, from 2017 has an isosceles triangle formed from two back to back right triangles. It appears to be floating in the sea like a steep mountain island.

Resika creates a unique dialog between the natural world and straight edged mathematical geometric shapes.

Susan Happersett

Vera Molnar at Senior and Shopmaker Gallery

Vera Molnar is an early practitioner of computer art. A founding member of the “Groupe de Recherché d’art Visuel” (GRAV), Molnar utilizes technology to create abstract art. Her exhibit at Senior and Shopmaker Gallery includes computer drawings made between 1968 and 1986 as well as some earlier hand drawings.
Using the programming languages Fortran and Basic, Molnar generated images that explore a multitude of variations on a particular geometric theme.

These two ink prints from 1974 – both titled “Hypertransformation of 20 Concentric Squares” – are printed  on Benson plotter paper. Exploring concept of concentric squares with an interesting twist, the computer allows for a multitude of variables. Molnar added an unexpected element of chance by creating small deviations in the programming. This extra element of uncertainty gives the work a frenetic sense of motion contrasting the stability usually associated with the humble square.
Susan Happersett

“Superposition” at Joshua Liner Gallery

The Joshua Liner gallery is currently presenting “Superposition”, an exhibit curated by Johnny Abrahams. The title of the show refers to quantum mechanics and the concept of an atomic element appearing to be in multiple positions at the same exact moment in time. The works in the show offer some alternate ways to look at geometric forms and patterns.

Vanha Lam’s “Broken Plane” series of paintings is an excellent example of a unique representation of one of the most basic shapes.

Each work is a paining of a rectangle, but the canvas has been sliced into two pieces creating a top section and a bottom section. In the case of the black and white paintings the bottom panel overlaps the top panel. In the yellow painting the top overlaps the bottom.  The simple rectangle has broken out of the the 2-D plane, taking on new characteristics of space and shadows.

“Superposition” is up until April 22 at Joshua Liner Gallery, 540 W 28 St, New York.

Susan Happersett

Art+Mathematics – Sharol Nau at Landmark Center, Saint Paul, MN

This week a guest blog entry by Sharol Nau. Her show “Art+Mathematics” is on through April 22, 2018 at the Landmark Center (North Gallery), 75 Fifth Street West, Saint Paul, MN. 

On June 7, 1742, Christian Goldbach wrote a letter to Leonhard Euler, suggesting that any even number greater than 4 is expressible as the sum of two odd primes. Goldbach’s conjecture has served as a springboard, providing me with inspiration for a series of artworks. The patterns produced that were inspired by this simple statement are tiled patterns with an even number of tiles that are partitioned into two sets. Each set consists of a prime number of tiles. My goal was to construct interesting artworks using traditional and non-traditional materials.

Square arrangement: The canvas is partitioned into an even number of squares distinguished by a design based on two primes that sum to that even number.

Tapioca, 48″ x 48″ (Square Arrangement)

Scattered arrangement: The distribution of triangles is separated into several groups, offering several smaller shapes similar in color or texture relating to their designated prime.

Goldbach White, 36″ x 48″ (scattered arrangement using the even number 32 = 19+13)

Tight arrangement: The distribution of triangles is separated into only two shapes.

Goldbach Orange, 10″ x 8″ (tight arrangement using the even number 32 = 19+13)


Sharol Nau



Stan Douglas’ DCT series at David Zwirner Gallery

David Zwirner Gallery is currently presenting recent abstract work in Stan Doulas’ “DCT series”. “DCT” refers to discrete cosine transformation. Each composition is created by the artist entering data for frequencies, amplitudes and color. The numerical data is manipulated through a custom computer program. The photographic prints are based solely on this process: there is no physical subject matter. They are printed on stretched and gessoed canvas and take on the form of abstract paintings.
“6AA6” from 2017, is a good example of the symmetries created in the geometric patterns created using Douglas’ unique system of image generation. The square canvas features order-4 rotational symmetry with the lines of reflections running along the diagonals. The pattern can also be seen as a tiling made up of squares also positioned diagonally. Each square has one of  two different types of geometries in a checkerboard layout.
Douglas is well known for more traditional photography, where an actual scene or object is depicted. These new techniques allow the artist to create a visual representation of numerical data transformed through technology.
Susan Happersett