The Curator Gallery is a unique type of gallery. Recently opened by Anne S. Moore, exhibitions at the gallery are developed using visiting curators. Each show will have a different perspective and vision because the curators will always be changing. The inaugural exhibition “Second Nature: Abstract Art from Maine” was curated by Mark Wethli, a professor at Bowdoin College and a painter exhibiting frequently in the North East and in California. Two of the artists included in this show create work with mathematical connections.
Clint Fulkerson’s intensely detailed gouache drawing “White Nebula 9” from 2012 began with simple geometric figures. Through detailed repetition of self-similar forms the drawing grew into a weblike fractal pattern. According to Fulkerson’s Artist’s Statement: “For each piece I set up a starting condition and devise a set of rules, which are much like algorithms,that limit what and how forms develop.” Fulkerson’s drawings relate to mathematics on two levels. His process is a rule-based system, and the theme of his work is the growth of forms using self-similar geometric elements. What I really liked about “White Nebula 9” is the different density of lines throughout the drawing. In some places the lines are sparse enough that the geometric structures are clear and straight forward. In other sections the accumulation of lines becomes almost feverish with detail. In addition to work on paper Fulkerson makes large site-specific drawings on walls and windows. He has created a black and white drawing in the front window of the gallery for this exhibition that beacons to pedestrians of 23rd street to take a closer look.
The second artist in the exhibition whose work has mathematical elements is Joe Kievitt. His ink and acrylic paintings on paper are created using an arduous system of taping off sections of the paper and then applying pigment. This produces geometric abstractions with crisp lines and edges. Kievitt cites numerous historical connections to his work including Islamic mosaics and quilts, two areas with well documented relationships to mathematics. Kievett’s painting “XXL” features a gridded structure comprised of X’s. In the top and bottom rows the columns have only one X. Each of the center 7 rows the columns have two X’s one over the other, creating vertical rectangles. Disregarding color there are both a vertical and a horizontal lines of symmetry running through the center point of the paper.
— Susan Happersett