Armory Show 2022

This past weekend the huge yearly art extravaganza, The Armory Show was held at the Javitz Center in Manhattan. There were more galleries than ever this year presenting a cornucopia of interesting art. I noticed more paintings than I had seen in one place in a long time, ranging from figurative to abstract.

Rebecca Ward – Wave Forms i-v

Wave Forms i-v by Rebecca Ward at the Ronchini Gallery is an amazing series of acrylic, dye and flashe on canvas. To me they resemble trigonometric curves: Sine, Cosine, Tangent. The most interesting aspect of these paintings is the places where the curves seem disjointed. Ward creates a type of mathematical collage of curves.

There were a number of installation works at the show. The Templon Gallery presented Polka (2022), a neon and mirrored work by Ivan Navarro. The work was a tunnel, with mirrored walls and ceiling. On top of the grid Navarro layered two sets of circle grids. The grid of orange circles are intertwined with a grid of teal circles. The mirror intensifies the light and produces repetition.

Ivan Navarro – Polka – 2002

There was not a lot of digital work in the show but Berg Contemporary exhibited the Iris prints “Wave Form Studies IV” important work by Woody Vasulka from 1977-2003. Woody and his wife Steins are ground breaking artists using electronic signals. The 3-D effects Of the Wave Forms work were achieved with a Rutt/Etra scan processor. It is hard to tell from a photo but in person these prints really look like undulating sculptures.

Woody Vasulka – Wave Forms

I really enjoyed my time at the Armory Show and as always I was happy to see some art work with mathematical connections.

Susan Happersett

2022 Bridges Math Art Conference Helsinki

Well it Is back to school time so I have decided to return to writing my blog. This summer I was lucky enough to attend my first in person conference since early 2020. The Bridges Math Art Organization hosted there a 2022 conference in Helsinki Finland. It was a really great conference with many interesting lectures , workshops , and an impressive art exhibition. There were quite a few amazing pieces on display throughout the gallery. Way too many to mention them all so I chose a few.

Petronio Bendito – Color Code, Black and White 01 – Digital Print – 50 x 50 cm – 2022

Petronio Bendito’s 2022 digital print Color Code, Black and White 01 has been algorithmically generated using 32 colors. I like the expressive nature of this image. The stark contrast from the black lines to the explosion of the hundreds of colored strokes offers a sense of emotionally frenzy not often seen in mathematically art.

Melle Stoel – Yazdah – PLA 3D print, magnets – 2021

Melle Stoel’s 2021, sculpture Yazdah is constructed from a series of PLA 3D printed pieces held together with magnets. This is an ingenious way to combine the folded Heptagons, triangles, squares and rhombi shaped prints into a large and complex structure. a monochromatic all white color scheme showcases the multitude of folds , creating interesting shadows across its surface.

Theo Schaad – Hepta Jagged – Collage of Block Prints – 2022

Theo Schaad’s monumental collage Hepta Jagged from 2022, was created using hundreds of pieces of cut up block prints.According to Schaad, Hepta Jagged is a patch of an infinite quasi-periodic tessellation with local 7-fold rotational symmetry. The technique of block printing offers a type of repetition pattern with slight variations. When the prints are carefully cut up and assembled in intricate tiling there is a wonderful painterly quality to the work.

Although this is only a small sample of work at the Bridges Conference I hope it gives you a hint of all the great art presented.


E/AB Online Fair

The Editions/Artist’s Book Fair is online this year. The online “viewing room” is open until October 31st.

Follow the link here, then scroll down to find Purgatory Pie Press to see my “Cartesian Lace Bricolage” books. If you click into the Purgatory Pie Press gallery there is also a little video of the books. 

I hope everyone is having a nice Autumn.


Armory Fair NYC

The Armory Fair is the first big art show I have attended in 18 months. There was a lot of amazing work. I chose three pieces with interesting mathematical ideas. The Rochini Gallery from London presented the marble sculptures of Gianpietro Carlesso.

“Curvatura Trentesei” from 2019 offers an elegant expression of a undulating loop. It is hard to believe it is carved from marble and not a pliable material.

AICON ART a New York gallery displayed this wall sculpture from 2015 by Rasheed Araeen.

“Red Square Breaking into Primary Colors” is constructed as a 3-D lattice of triangles. The painted 9 squares within a square are positioned like a diamond.

Galeria Curro from Quadalajara had a stunning display of Andrea Calvani’s neon work. 

““Study on Stellar Magnetic Field” is from 2021. Each of the pieces illuminates a formula or diagram related to physics and Mathematics.

Hyperbolic Square Sculptures

I have not been going to many galleries these days, so I decided to share some of my current work.

A number of years ago I came up with a hyperbolic circle form that could be constructed from paper circles with a radial slit in each. I combined the circles by overlapping about 45 degrees from their centers.

The resulting sculptures answer the question: what happens if a circle has more than 360 degrees , 675 degrees? 990 degrees? You build a saddle shape or a ruffle.

After drawing my Quadratic Lace patterns for a few years I decided to try my hand at developing hyperbolic forms from squares. I start with a series of Squares each with a single slit from  the center point of the Square to the center point of one of the sides. I fold the squares in half both horizontally and vertically and then rearrange the folds into an accordion fold of 4 small squares. I combine squares in a similar fashion as the circles, overlapping one small square. I combine 4 of the large squares into one hyperbolic Square. To give the sculpture a linear quality I have attached a few together alternating directions.

Anyone who knows me knows, I was not going to stop with quadrilaterals. Spoiler Alert…. I have developed a form using hexagons that creates a spiral of trapezoids I am calling “Hexa-go-go”s. I also fold irregular octagons Into exploding star sculptures I call “Super Nova”s. I will post photos and more info on these two new shapes soon!

Esther K Smith and I are teaching a workshop ,“Garden of Mathematical Delights”, at the Center for Book Arts in NYC. We will be teaching artists how to make my Circle Hyperbolic and my new Hyperbolic Square book along with a few other forms.


Rayyane Tabet at the MET

What a long strange year it has been. I am so happy to be able to go to museums again.

Rayyane Tabet’s current exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art addresses the four reliefs of Tell Halaf that have ended up in the MET’s collection. The exhibition explores Tabet’s family’s connection to the reliefs. Tabet’s great-grandfather Faik Borkhoche worked as a researcher for the excavation. Borkhoche was given a 65 foot rug by the Bedouins of Tell Hala that is the subject of Tabet’s installation “Genealogy”

The rug was to be cut into 5 equal sections, one for each of Borkhoche’s children. Then it was to be divided again in equal section for each subsequent generation.As time passes sections get smaller and smaller creating  visual fractions of the genealogical history of the artist’s family.

Susan Happersett

Welcome Winter

Here in New York we had our first big snow storm last week, but I have been thinking about Hexagons and order 6 rotational symmetry for a few months. Here are two Snowflake Lace drawings to celebrate the first day of Winter.

Snowflake 1 – Ink on Paper – 8″ x 8″ – 2020
Snowflake 2 Ink on Paper – 8″ x 8″ – 2020

I know 2020 has been a very sad and difficult year. Wishing you all a Safe and Happy Holidays and best wishes for a better 2021!

Susan Happersett

Journal of Mathematics and the Arts – Special Issue ‘Artists Viewpoints’

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.


Summer 2020

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.