I know this has been a difficult six months for everyone, but there were some good things that have happened in 2020.
A bright spot for me was the publication of a Special Issue of the Journal of Mathematics and the arts devoted to Artist’s statements. Titled “Artists Viewpoints”, you can find it for free until the end of the year by following this link and scrolling down to volume 14.
It has been a great honor to edit this issue. JMA is going to continue publishing an artist statement in each new issue. I encourage any artists with mathematical themes in their work to consider submitting their statement. To do that, click on the “Submit an article” button, set up an account and follow the instructions.
It is a strange year! I hope all of you are well!
Most Summers I attend the Bridges Math Art conference, and feature some of the artwork from the exhibition in this blog. This year with an active, deadly pandemic circulating the globe, the in-person conference was cancelled. Instead a virtual alternative was created. I contributed a video about some of my newest drawings. Here is my video.
Robert Bolick recently wrote a nice piece on some of my early collaborations with Dikko Faust and Esther K. Smith of Purgatory Pie Press in New York. These book arts projects feature my counted marking drawings. It also describes my Accordion Moebius form, called the “Happersett Accordion”.
Check out Robert’s article here.
With New York closed, I have been social distancing at home. My last blog was about the Armory Show in early March. I have not been out and about to look at art since then, so this blog has been on a hiatus.
But… today one of my Fibonacci drawings is featured on the American Mathematical Society’s Page-A Calendar, I decided to post the May 3rd page.
It has been a very difficult time for many people. I am hoping everyone is healthy and safe.
March is a busy month for art fairs in NYC.
The Armory Show is the largest venue, taking place on piers 90 and 94 on the Hudson River. There are a number of galleries featuring art with Mathematical themes. I will offer you a small sample of some of my favorites.
The Anne Mosseri-Marlio Galerie from Switzerland featured the work of Beth Campbell. This powder coated steel mobile titled “There is no such thing as a good decision (brilliant)” is a floating drawing presenting a schematic diagram of a series of two choice decisions. Starting from a single wire that offers two options. The number of choices doubles with each iteration.
The O S L Contemporary Gallery from Oslo, Norway devoted there space to an amazing survey of sculpture by Aase Texmon Rygh. Rygh is an important early modernist sculptor who explored many topological forms.
Twisted rectangles with ovoid cut always
The Museum of Modern Art in NYC underwent a big expansion and renovation project last year. The opening in the Fall the Museum introduced some exciting new exhibitions. “sur moderno journeys of abstraction” focuses on the work of participants in the post WWII avant-garde artists groups that were formed in South America. The work on display is all abstractions, many of which have geometric themes.
Willys de Castro’s 1962 oil on canvas on plywood wall sculpture, “Objeto ativo (cubo vermelho/branco)” (“active Object [Red/White Cube]”) explores the divisions within a cubic structure. The 3/4 of each of the 5 visible sides of the cube are painted red. A square measuring 1/4 of each side is painted white. This is done in such a way that it appears that there are white cubes embedded into the sculpture at two diagonal corners.
Eugenio Espinoza’s 1971 “untitled” half stretched canvas features a square grid pattern. By only stretching the top half of the painting the bottom of the canvas is slack. the grid has been altered as the sides of the canvas roll back.
Helio Oiticia’s 1958 gouache on board “Metasquema No.348” is an arrangement of bright blue non-overlapping rectangles. Positioned in a grid like pattern but skewed at various angles, the liner rectangles create a pattern that seems to have both kinetic and curvilinear properties.
The Kirkland Museum in Denver Colorado has a large collection of fine and decorative art. In addition to the studio of painter Vance Kirkland the museum displays an eclectic selection of art. A few of the works feature mathematical themes.
Clark Richert’s painting R-P/Kepler is a complex tiling featuring rhombi, pentagons as well as irregular quadrilaterals.
Richard Kallweit uses small wooden cubes the build geometric sculptures.
One of Kallweit’s sculptures was also part of the JMM exhibition.
Both Richert and Kallweit are represented by Rule Gallery which is located in the Santa Fe arts district in Denver. Stop by the gallery to see some other examples of their work.
There were so much interesting work at the JMM Art Exhibition that I needed to write a second blog post.
Amanda Owens’ “Links” is painted on a wood panel with the grain and an underlying drawn grid exposed. The structure of the geometric pattern features repetitive tessellation. What makes this painting unique is the use of a hombre technique for the blue squares,changing gradually from light blue on the top row to the dark blue on the bottom row. This alters the expected symmetries.
“A Unit Domino” a print by Doug McKenna explores symmetry vs asymmetry. We expect the two points of the triangles to line up along a vertical axis but the are both off center. The mathematics behind this bold pattern is quite complex. This space filling curve was developed using a pair of double spirals and a half-million line segments. McKenna has also published an electronic, interactive,illustrated app/eBook that allows the viewer to explore his intense and beautiful patterns.”Hilbert Curves: Outside -In and Inside-Gone” is available at Apple’s App store.
This January the 2020 Joint Mathematics Meeting was held in Denver, Colorado. Every year the Art Exhibition at the Convention seems to get better and better.
I will present a small sampling of the work on display.
Anne Ligon Harding and Clayton Shonkwiler created this lino cut print featuring trefoil knots. The knots both have 3 fold rotational symmetry. The use of parallel lines gives the illusion of under and over in 3-D space.By flipping the prospective 180 degrees the viewer can see the trefoils from different angles. Having one knot on a white background and the other on a black background juxtaposes positive and negative space.
James Stasiak used the process of digital photo improvisation to create this print on metal. According to Stasiak a photograph of railroad tracks was manipulated using “tessellations and polar projections” to the form this striking image.
The Newark Museum has recently reinstalled their collection of American Art. Titled “Seeing America” this exhibition a selection of mid-century modern abstract paintings all with new updated signage. I was so happy to see Charmion Von Wiegand’s painting “The Sign of Keeping Still from 1953”.
Von Wiengand was a friend of Piet Mondrian. This work was influenced by that friendship, but also includes a reference to Mathematics.
The Newark Museum acknowledged this connection with an explanation of the logarithmic spiral. Including mathematical references in art museums is a great curatorial development.