The Andrea Rosen gallery in NYC is exhibiting the work of Matt Keegan. I found two of the powder coated steel wall sculptures of particular interest. These structures originate as folded paper cut-outs that are then fabricated in steel. The type of fold that is used to make the paper forms is called a French fold. To make a French fold you take a sheet of paper and fold it in half. Then without opening the paper you fold it in half again perpendicularly to the first fold. When you unfold the paper you have two types of folds: valley folds, which are concave, and hills folds that are convex.
In the sculptures Untitled (Navy) and Untitled (Neon) the French fold technique creates horizontal valley folds running through the centers. The top portion of each sculpture shows a vertical hill fold through the center, and the bottom half has a vertical valley fold through the center. Disregarding the fold directions both sculptures have two lines of reflection symmetry, vertical and horizontal.
Keegan celebrates the simplicity of the folded and cut paper by transforming the patterns into substantial steel structures .
Till next time,
Charles Thomas O’Neil
The Howard Scott Gallery in Chelsea NYC is currently exhibiting a selection of Charles Thomas O’Neil’s recent abstract paintings.
Untitled 2740, 2013
Picture courtesy of the artist and the gallery
The painting “Untitled 2740” (2013) has a vertical line of reflection symmetry running through the center of the canvas. The top section of the features a rust colored bridge-like shape enclosing a white rectangle. The bottom section of the painting has a variation of the bridge shape in dark grey.
Picture courtesy of the artist and the gallery
The oil painting on panel “Untitled 2741” (2013) is a 2-D rendering of what appears to be a 3-D impossible object. It looks like a rectangular bar with square ends positioned so both ends are visible to the viewer. This work has 180 degree rotational symmetry.
O’Neil’s geometric designs are enhanced by his use of saturated colors that immediately draws in the eye of the viewer. I also appreciate his use of visible painterly strokes which keep the work from looking flat and static.
More MathArt next time.
It can be very interesting to see how the same type of shape is used it different contexts. Recently I saw the work of two artists both using right triangular 3-D wedges.
Cordy Ryman has the installation “Zipper Spine” 2014 at the Lesley Heller Workspace gallery in the group exhibition “Destructure” curated by Jonathan Melville Pratt.
“Zipper Spine” is s series of 16 isosceles right triangles. They have two vertices with 45 degree angles and one vertex with 90 angle. The 16 wedges are attached to the wall in the vertical line of the corner. Each wedge has a 45 degree vertex positioned into the corner.
This placement creates a study of the equal positive and negative space of the 45 degree angle of the triangle in the 90 degree corner.
Kwang Young Chun
Kwang Young Chun also uses triangular wedges in his wall sculptures. Hasted Kraeutler gallery is currently hosting a solo show of Chun’s work. His art is created by using a multitude in polystyrene triangles wrapped in Korean mulberry paper. The result is complex 3-D patterning.
The large scale (69″X57″) assemblage “Aggregation 13-APO18” 2013 features right triangles of many sizes covering and protruding from the entire canvas. The result is a wild explosion of pattern and the texture.
Both Chun and Ryman are elevating the humble right triangle. But in very different ways. While Ryman uses consistency of size and shape to explore the theme, Chun uses hundreds of elements in varying sizes to build a dynamic environment.
More MathArt next time
Mitra Khorasheh has curated a fascinating exhibition of the paintings, sculptures, videos and performance art of Rachel Garrard title “VESSEL” at Gasser Grunert. All the work in the show is about geometry, a very personal geometry, based on the physical measurements of the artist’s body. In the press release from the show Garrard is quoted as saying: “I see the human body as a microcosm, a seed encompassing all the geometric and geodesic measures of the cosmos, as a container for something infinite”.
One of the geometric forms used by Garrard is the isosceles triangle.
The work “Convergence 2004” (quartz dust on linen) features layers of transparent isosceles triangles, 4 with the bottom of the canvas as the base and three with the top of the canvas as their base. The vertex angles are lines up on a vertical reflection line of symmetry that runs through the center of the canvas. This expresses the symmetric nature of the human form, with a vertical line of symmetry, but also the non-symmetrical nature, i.e. the absence of a horizontal line of symmetry.
The geometry for “Blue II” (Ink on canvas, 2004) is takn diretcly from the outline of the artist’s body. Garrard uses various rectangles to create a structure that relates the proportions of her body and again displays a verical line of reflective symmetry.
Garrard has also created videos and performance works that are based on her techniques of dividing up her body into a sort of grid of points. The artist then connects these points with either tape lines, directly on her body, or paint lines on a clear panel.
The sculpture “Geometric Void” (paint on perspex) is the result of an 8-hour performance from 2010. Rachel Garrard has created a new way to express geometry based on the proportions of her body. Although the nature of this work is very personal, the essence of these symmetries and proportions reveal universal truths.
There was so much interesting work at the Bridges Conference Art Exhibition it is difficult to select just a few but… here are a few more of my favorites.
John Hiigli is a New York based artist whose work I have admired for years. His Contribution to the exhibition included an outstanding black and white painting titled “Chrome 203 Homage to De Barros I: Translation”:
Hiigli – Chrome 203 Homage to De Barros I: Translation
Picture courtesy of the artist
This painting is a great study of the power of positive and negative space. Hiigli uses 3/4 squares in alternating black and white to build a square pattern that he then uses to create a 3 by 4 grid of these square elements. I really like the concept of using a 3/4 fraction of a square, the general outline of the square remains even though 1/4 has been removed. These patterns are based on the work of Brazilian painter Geraldo De Barros.
There were a lot of sculptures at the conference that were made using 3-D printers. One artist whose work stood out was Henry Segerman. His “Developing Fractal Curves” figures had a graceful presence and conveyed the narrative of the Mathematical sequences in an interesting linear fashion.
Segerman – Deloping Fractal Curves
Picture courtesy of the artist
These four structures start at the top with the basic iterations of the fractals clearly defined. As the viewer’s eye travels down into the curves the patterns become more and more complex. These small sculptures do an excellent job of conveying the nature of fractal curves.
Mike Naylor has created an interactive Mathematical pattern generator called “Runes” that can be used on a tablet or smart phone. This program allows the participant to explore the operation of multiplication by making curves within a circle that is divided like a numbered dial. The more numbers on the dial the more complex the patterns become. ”Runes” is available here. Naylor has created an excellent tool to show students how a simple mathematical process, used in different permutations, can result in a wide variety of visual images.