Alexander Calder at Pace Gallery

The art of constructing mobiles is a mathematical exercise. Creating a well balanced suspended sculpture requires the artist to calculate the appropriate distances for each of the weighted elements. “Calder Small Sphere and Heavy Sphere” is the inaugural exhibition at Pace’s new palatial gallery in Chelsea.

This “Untitled” Mobile from 1932 features four white spheres of various sizes and one tiny red sphere. The spheres are attached to ends of suspended rods.

For this Untitled Mobile from 1934 Calder seems to create an almost impossible equilibrium. The top rod has a single solid form suspended on the left and a second rod suspended on the right. From the second rod there two more suspended forms.

Susan Happersett

Richard Serra at Gagosian Chelsea

Richard Serra’s installation “Forged Rounds” is on display at Gagosian’s Chelsea location. I have always been a fan of Serra’s large scale work. Walking among the geometric architecture of his sculpture takes me to an otherworldly place. The juxtaposition of the pure shapes with the texture of the rusted metal becomes a form of meditation. “Forged Rounds” consists of three galleries inhabited with huge solid steel cylinders.

The heights of the cylinders and the dimensions of the circular bases are variable, offering a changing view throughout the space.

The monumental presence of each of these cylinders become solitary entities that interact with the other cylinders in the room.

Susan Happersett

Deborah Zlotsky at Kathryn Markel

Kathryn Markel gallery is currently featuring the “Now and later” , Deborah Zlotsky’s solo exhibition. The show features painting as well as tapestries made from vintage scarves. The textile work elevates the geometric patterns of these design into Art to be hung on a wall.

“For Sure 100%” from 2019 explores the use of squares, diagonals and right angles in 20th century design.

“A peculiar influence, subduing them into receptiveness”, 2019 draws its strength from the vertical parallel lines of the long rectangular scarf.

What I really like about these tapestries is they are highlighting geometry we see around us every day.

Susan Happersett

Anni Albers at David Zwirner

Brenda Danilowitz has curated the wonderful Anni Albers exhibition at David Zwirner’s West 20th street gallery. Albers is one the preeminent fiber artist of the 20th century. There are s number of her weaving masterworks on display. What I found special about this show was the works on paper. There was one large room devoted to gouache color studies, drawings and prints.

Some of the pieces from the 1970’s really caught my eye.

In each of these three works Albers has used a grid of squares. The squares have been split in half diagonally. The resulting isosceles right triangles have been colored in contrast to the other half.

“Color Study (Blue and Reds)” is a gouache and diazotype on paper from 1970.


“Study for Second Movement III” graphite on paper, 1970

“Second Movement III” two color copper plate etching, 1978

Susan Happersett

Yoko Ono at the Everson Museumof Art in Syracuse, NY

The Everson Museum of Art in Syracuse New York is celebrating it’s 50th Anniversary this year. To celebrate they have are presenting great exhibitions. “Yoko Ono, Remembering the Future” is currently on display. Yoko Ono had her first solo museum show at the Everson in 1971. A conceptual artist, Ono’s work is often a set of rules or steps that can be carried out by other people in various settings. Some of the work includes Mathematical instructions. The construction “Morning Beams”(1997:2019) falls into this category.

The artist’s text that gives the parameters for installation is posted on gallery wall: “One hundred nylon robes emanating from a single source in the ceiling, suspended from top to bottom, anchored in concentric circles with metal plates”

Ono has incorporated both counting and geometry into to her expression of the phenomenon of sun beams.

Susan Happersett

Leslie Hewitt at Perrotin Gallery

Perrotin is featuring the work of Leslie Hewitt in a solo exhibition titled “Reading Room” at their gallery on the Lower East side of Manhattan. The show includes a wide range of media, photography and sculpture. It is the sheer metal, white powder coated “Untitled” floor installations from 2019 that offer the clearest geometric inspirations.

Each work consists of a flat rectangular plane that has a few linear folds. At these folds a section of the plane is bent at a 90 degree angle.

Each of the sculptures has at least one corner fold that forms an isosceles triangle with 45-90-45 degree angles that is perpendicular to the floor.

Here is an example with one corner fold and one fold that creates a rectangle also perpendicular to the floor.

This work has a isosceles triangle corner fold, a rectangular fold, then a third fold on the corner of the raised rectangular creating another Isosceles triangle.

The use of the flat white surface allows the viewer to concentrate on the folds and the resulting clean lines and shadows.

Susan Happersett

Apollo’s Muse at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

The Metropolitan Museum in NYC is currently presenting “Apollo’s Muse The Moon in the Age of Photography”. Commemorating the 50th anniversary of the TV broadcast of NASA’s Apollo 11 mission this exhibition early photographs as well as prints books and ephemera.


This is a page from Charles F Blunt’s 1942 book “The Moon’s Phases ,in Lectures on Astronomy;Beauty of the Heavens; a Pictorial Display of the Astronomical Phenomena of the Universe”.In the center of the diagram Blunt has placed a circle representing the moon divided into two sections. Encircling this moon are two concentric rings of twelve circles

For me one of the most impressive displays was the 19th century astronomical photography. All 71 plates of Maurice Loewy and Pierre Puiseux’s “Photographic Atlas of the Moon”. Here is one wall of the installation.

The multitude of perspectives on the same spherical orb is an elegant exploration of it’s geometry.

Susan Happersett

“Sinnesrausch” in Linz, Austria

In The center of the city in Linz a huge interactive series of art installations has been installed until Oct 13th. Curated by Katherina Lackner and Genovea Ruckert, the exhibition tagline is “Elastic, Plastic, Fantastic”. The basic elements of visual art as a sensory thrill- point, line, space and time. Both contemporary work and important historical art are included in this ambitious exhibition. The viewer walks through of a circuit of installations situated on many floors and outside on the roof of the building.

This is a still shot from Manfred Mohr’s computer generated movie “Cubic Limit” from 1973-1974. Using straight lines and grids Mohr has shown a progression of cubic forms moving through space.

Mariana Apollonio’s Op Art piece “Spazio ad Attivazione Cinetica”, 1966-2015 creates the optical illusion of a warped plane using black and white concentric circles.

The most ambitious contemporary installation is on the roof. “Tube Linz” , 2019 is by the collective “Numen / For Use”
Viewers become part of the art when they climb into the undulating network of tunnels. The bright blue grid structure looks different from every position. Exploring line, space, and motion.

Susan Happersett

Fashion Show at Bridges Conference – Linz, Austria

A new exiting component at the Bridges Math/Art Conference was a formal fashion show. Presented at the Tabakfabrik (a former tobacco factory that now houses creative businesses and venues), the show looked like a high end designer fashion show complete with a runway, an announcer, and a DJ.
Models strutted down the runway in clothing, jewelry, hats, and even a set of wings all designed using and representing mathematical phenomena.
Here are a few highlights.

More from the Bridges art exhibition in Linz, Austria

This year at Bridges there was a number of works made by beading artists.

Kris Empting Obenland used tiny beads to make the sculpture “Fit” . This work features 5 interlocking tetrahedra. I find the use of an alternating black and white beading pattern along the edges of the form creates a striking line drawing of the equilateral triangles in 3-D space.

“The Root Two Tunnel” by Jos Vromans is the generated by custom software written by the artist. This image on an aluminum panel was achieved by manipulating smaller squares within larger squares.The result is rotating triangles forming the illusion of a tunnel.

Susan Happersett