Sol Lewitt at Paula Cooper Gallery

Paula Cooper is currently presenting a wide range of the work of Sol Lewitt at all three of their Chelsea galleries, as well as at the book store 192 Books on Tenth avenue. Wall drawing and sculptures are included in this excellent homage to the artist, but I am going to focus on a photographic work from 2004: “A Sphere lit from the top, four sides, and all of their combinations”

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Sol Lewitt – “A Sphere lit from the top, four sides, and all of their combinations” – 2014
Picture courtesy of Paula Cooper Gallery

This series of 28 photographs explores 2-D images of a 3-D sphere. It looks at how the figure changes in space based on how it is lit. A circle possesses infinite lines of reflective symmetry, diameters, and has an infinite order of rotational symmetry in 2-D space. Spheres take these symmetrical properties into 3 dimensions. Lewitt’s use of light from six vantage points reveals the myriad of visual possibilities in portraying what seems to be the purest and simplest of geometric solids. Although the subject of each photograph remains constant, all pictures have a different energy and personality.

I feel that photography is a fertile medium for mathematical art, especially serial work. It allows an artist to explore a geometric theme through different vantage points and permutations.

Susan Happersett

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Donald Moffet at Marianne Boesky Gallery

“Donald Moffet: any fallow field”, the current solo exhibition at the Marianne Boesky gallery in Chelsea features work that pose a conversation on human’s apathy for nature.  “Lot 052215 (graphic)” is one of the artists recent extruded paintings, created using a process that coaxes the oil paint into hair like bristles that seem to grow out of the canvas.

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“Lot 052215 (graphite)”, 2015

 

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Detail

Like much of the work in the show this painting is structured in a way that brings the work off the wall into the gallery space, creating sculptural quality that produces shadows. The overall pattern explored in this piece is a square format created using 13 circles that has order-4 rotational symmetry. The center section of the shape is a 3 by 3 grid square, but by adding a circle to the center of each of the sides, a diamond with 5 stacked diagonal rows is formed. This structure to me alludes to structures found in nature, like honey combs. The use of the graphite colored bristles lends the work a foreboding presence.

Susan Happersett

Anila Quayyum Agha at The Peabody Essex Museum

Anila Quayyum Agha’s installation titled “Intersections” is inspired by the intricate decorative elements she encountered in religious buildings as a child in Pakistan. The work consists of a laser cut steel cube lit from within. The lines of the lattice work on the cube are projected unto the painted walls, floor and ceiling of the gallery.

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The open work design is based on the geometric properties of Islamic patterning. Each side of the cube features a figure with 8-fold rotational symmetry inscribed with in a circle.

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These symmetries get disrupted in the projection onto the gallery surfaces. Especially along the lines where the walls and floor meet. The geometry on the cube is precise but the shadows must bend to fit within the boundaries of the gallery.

Susan Happersett

More Math Art from the Bridges Conference Jyväskylä, Finland

There were so much interesting work at the Art Exhibition this year, is was difficult to choose just a few for my blog.

Bernhard Rietzl’s 3-D printing of “Nautilus Theodori” offers an elegant interpretation of a spiral developed by Theodorus of Cyrene in Greece in the 5th century BC.

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The Spiral of Theodorus is constructed using right triangles. It begins with a central isosceles right triangle. The legs of this first triangle determine the length of each of the shorter legs for all triangles in the spiral. The second triangle uses the hypotenuse of the first triangle as its longer leg. The third triangle uses the hypotenuse of the second triangle as its longer leg. This process continues to create the spiral. Rietzl’s sculpture uses hollow 3-D wedges to create a shell-like vessel. The clean lines of the triangle give  the nautilus shell an element  of modern design.

Nathan Selikoff’s video “Audiograph” is produced in real time based on the interaction of environmental factors. The work is a projection of a clock. The hours and the minutes hands are fairly traditional lines using audio waves.

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The seconds hand of the clock however, is a representation of the sound over the course of a minute. The sounds and voices in the gallery leave lines radiating out from the center of the clock. The changes in the volume and the tone of the environment create the visual variations.
Selloff’s clock makes the viewer think about both time and sound. Using computer technology and the mathematics of audiology it creates a work that  allows participants to change the visual output of the video within the time limitations of the movement of the seconds hand of a clock.

Susan Happersett