Math at the Outsider Art Fair

The first weekend of March is the Outsider Art Fair in NYC. Over the years I have noticed more work with mathematical connections. This year Norman Brosterman exhibited a series of detailed mathematical abstract drawings that were recently discovered in two albums from 1880. The word “Distractions” was embossed on the spines of the books. They are thought to be the work of an architect or a drafts person. These works feature interesting symmetries.

This first drawing has order-4 rotational symmetry over all and each of hexagonal Star elements have order-6 rotational symmetry.

This second drawing has two competing symmetries. The outer pattern of Quadrilaterals and orange triangles has order-22 rotational symmetry, while the interior ring of circles and petals has order-8.this results in the petals meeting the triangles at various stages of the pattern.

If you read this when I post it, go see the Outsider Art Fair this weekend.

Susan Happersett

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