Mary Heilmann at 303 Gallery

“Geometrics: Waves, Roads, Etc”, Mary Heilmann’s current solo show at 303 Gallery in Chelsea, features work with an emphasis, as the title suggests, Geometry. My favorite pieces were two shaped canvases, “Geometry Right’ and Geometry Left” both acrylic on canvas from 2015.

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Each painting consists of two squares that overlap on a diagonal so that they share a corner quarter square. The top square of each pair is divided horizontally in half to create two congruent rectangles. The top rectangle is bright blue and the bottom rectangle is matte white. The two canvases are displayed in the gallery in a symmetrical fashion. The installation creates a reflection symmetry with the vertical axis of symmetry running midway between the works.

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Although I was first drawn to these two canvases because of the geometry they represented. When I stood back to observe their placement in the gallery space, I realized the intriguing perspective of positive and negative space within the parameters of reflection symmetry.

Susan Happersett

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Pino Manos at Unix Gallery

Pino Manos’ solo show titled “Synchronicity” is currently on view at the Unix Gallery. His Monochrome paintings feature vertical strips of canvas layered over the stretched canvases, creating three dimensional works that come off the wall. The strips are of varying widths and have a twist. This act of twisting the canvas creates shadows. The work appears to have lighter and darker sections but the works are all actually the same exact tone and shade allover. By changing the width of the strips the twists also vary. The thinner the strip, the more of the strip stays closer to the vertical lines.

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In this red canvas the direction of the twist is not uniform resulting in lines that seem to cross. A side way view reveals the both the width of the strips and the vertical length of the each twist.

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Involved in the Rigorismo movement in Italy, Pino has created a new type of geometric space on canvas by challenging our preconceived ideas about painting.

Susan Happersett

Math at the E/AB Fair

This week there are numerous art fairs in NYC that emphasize prints and artist’s books. I am participating in the E/AB fair with the letterpress publisher Purgatory Pie Press. We are exhibiting the first of series of three prints based on my Fibonacci Spiral drawings.

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“Fibonacci Spiral 1” – 2015

Using an algorithmic process of folding and tearing double-sided prints, we have made an edition of a book called “Galactic Collision, Fibonacci Spiral”. This book breaks up the spiral patterns into small segments of the curves.

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“Galactic Collision” – 2015

Bernard Chauveau Editeur brought some very interesting work from Paris including “Mineral Skin”, ¬†a limited edition cut and folded paper sculpture by Arik Levy.

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Mineral Skin – 2013

“Mineral Skin” is a single sheet of paper that has been cut and folded to create a surface of pentagons and hexagons.

At the Wingatestudio booth Sebastian Black’s large scale accordion books are on display .

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“Period Piece, Simple Sequence” 2014-2015

“Period Piece, Simple Sequence” is a series of two sets of counting books. The first starts with one randomly placed black square on the first page. Each subsequent page has one more square, up to ten squares. The second set begins at eleven square marks and continues up to twenty.

There is a very diverse collection of work at the E/AB fair and I was quite pleased to find some work with mathematical themes.

Susan Happersett

On Kawara at MOMA

Currently on display Museum of Modern Art, “Scenes for a New Heritage” is a fresh reinstallation of the Museum’s collection of contemporary art. The first work you encounter as you enter the gallery is On Kawara’s “One Million Years (Past and Future)”. A limited edition Artist Book published in 1999 by Editions Micheline Szwajcer and Michele Didier, Brussels. ¬†Situated on a white pedestal in a clear vitrine the book features rows and columns of numerical years in sequence from 998,031 BC to 1.001,992 AD.

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As you get close to the vitrine to study the book, a voice reads out the numbers of a year. There is a speaker in the front of the stand. If you stand close to the pedestal another year in consecutive order is read out. The voice on the recording alternates between male and female. The audio recording was produced by the David Zwirner Gallery NY in 2000. This installation at the MOMA is really two works of art, the visual component in the form of a book and a poetic component in the reading of the dates.

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On Kawara is very famous for his paintings of single dates on canvas. I feel this installation reflects a deeper connection to Mathematics. The emphasis on the listing of numbers makes the viewer think about how we mark time using digits and order. The act of counting to this huge number of one million creates an extremely emotionally charged audio experience. The number are just as poignant as any other words in expressing the vastness and continuity of time.

Susan Happersett