Deborah Zlotsky at Kathryn Markel

Kathryn Markel gallery is currently featuring the “Now and later” , Deborah Zlotsky’s solo exhibition. The show features painting as well as tapestries made from vintage scarves. The textile work elevates the geometric patterns of these design into Art to be hung on a wall.

“For Sure 100%” from 2019 explores the use of squares, diagonals and right angles in 20th century design.

“A peculiar influence, subduing them into receptiveness”, 2019 draws its strength from the vertical parallel lines of the long rectangular scarf.

What I really like about these tapestries is they are highlighting geometry we see around us every day.

Susan Happersett

Anni Albers at David Zwirner

Brenda Danilowitz has curated the wonderful Anni Albers exhibition at David Zwirner’s West 20th street gallery. Albers is one the preeminent fiber artist of the 20th century. There are s number of her weaving masterworks on display. What I found special about this show was the works on paper. There was one large room devoted to gouache color studies, drawings and prints.

Some of the pieces from the 1970’s really caught my eye.

In each of these three works Albers has used a grid of squares. The squares have been split in half diagonally. The resulting isosceles right triangles have been colored in contrast to the other half.

“Color Study (Blue and Reds)” is a gouache and diazotype on paper from 1970.


“Study for Second Movement III” graphite on paper, 1970

“Second Movement III” two color copper plate etching, 1978

Susan Happersett

Yoko Ono at the Everson Museumof Art in Syracuse, NY

The Everson Museum of Art in Syracuse New York is celebrating it’s 50th Anniversary this year. To celebrate they have are presenting great exhibitions. “Yoko Ono, Remembering the Future” is currently on display. Yoko Ono had her first solo museum show at the Everson in 1971. A conceptual artist, Ono’s work is often a set of rules or steps that can be carried out by other people in various settings. Some of the work includes Mathematical instructions. The construction “Morning Beams”(1997:2019) falls into this category.

The artist’s text that gives the parameters for installation is posted on gallery wall: “One hundred nylon robes emanating from a single source in the ceiling, suspended from top to bottom, anchored in concentric circles with metal plates”

Ono has incorporated both counting and geometry into to her expression of the phenomenon of sun beams.

Susan Happersett

Leslie Hewitt at Perrotin Gallery

Perrotin is featuring the work of Leslie Hewitt in a solo exhibition titled “Reading Room” at their gallery on the Lower East side of Manhattan. The show includes a wide range of media, photography and sculpture. It is the sheer metal, white powder coated “Untitled” floor installations from 2019 that offer the clearest geometric inspirations.

Each work consists of a flat rectangular plane that has a few linear folds. At these folds a section of the plane is bent at a 90 degree angle.

Each of the sculptures has at least one corner fold that forms an isosceles triangle with 45-90-45 degree angles that is perpendicular to the floor.

Here is an example with one corner fold and one fold that creates a rectangle also perpendicular to the floor.

This work has a isosceles triangle corner fold, a rectangular fold, then a third fold on the corner of the raised rectangular creating another Isosceles triangle.

The use of the flat white surface allows the viewer to concentrate on the folds and the resulting clean lines and shadows.

Susan Happersett

Apollo’s Muse at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

The Metropolitan Museum in NYC is currently presenting “Apollo’s Muse The Moon in the Age of Photography”. Commemorating the 50th anniversary of the TV broadcast of NASA’s Apollo 11 mission this exhibition early photographs as well as prints books and ephemera.


This is a page from Charles F Blunt’s 1942 book “The Moon’s Phases ,in Lectures on Astronomy;Beauty of the Heavens; a Pictorial Display of the Astronomical Phenomena of the Universe”.In the center of the diagram Blunt has placed a circle representing the moon divided into two sections. Encircling this moon are two concentric rings of twelve circles

For me one of the most impressive displays was the 19th century astronomical photography. All 71 plates of Maurice Loewy and Pierre Puiseux’s “Photographic Atlas of the Moon”. Here is one wall of the installation.

The multitude of perspectives on the same spherical orb is an elegant exploration of it’s geometry.

Susan Happersett

Fashion Show at Bridges Conference – Linz, Austria

A new exiting component at the Bridges Math/Art Conference was a formal fashion show. Presented at the Tabakfabrik (a former tobacco factory that now houses creative businesses and venues), the show looked like a high end designer fashion show complete with a runway, an announcer, and a DJ.
Models strutted down the runway in clothing, jewelry, hats, and even a set of wings all designed using and representing mathematical phenomena.
Here are a few highlights.

The Whitney Biennial 2019

Every two years the Whitney Museum pulls together an exhibition that is a survey of contemporary American Art. The curators this year, Jane Panetta and Rujeko Hockly, emphasized current societal and political concerns. I was skeptical that I would find work with mathematical references, but I was pleasantly surprised.

Christine Sun Kim series of charcoal drawings “Degrees of Deaf Rage” charts the personal frustration and anger at various situations. In order to express the range of emotions Kim uses the concept of geometric angles. Acute,right and obtuse angles become measuring tools to gauge the rage in different scenarios.”Degrees of Deaf Rage in the Art World” from 2018 illustrates the difficulties of a deaf artist navigating the art world.

This close up shows the “OBTUSE RAGE” of “VISITING ARTISTS WHO AREN’T COMFORTABLE WITH INTERPRETERS”. The artist is making schematic drawings to express personal and sociological angst using basic geometric forms familiar to everyone.
Agustina Woodgate’s installation “National Times”, 2016/2019 consists of a room with clocks lining the walls connected to the power grid, all showing he same time. This is the same set-up used in schools, factories and other buildings for over 100 years. One digital “master” clock sends the signal to all of the other analog “slave” clocks. This created uniformity through out the building and repetition in this gallery. The ever-present numerical time pressure is palpable in the room.

Upon closer inspection you notice the numbers on the slave clocks are being slowly erased. Woodgate has attached sandpaper to the backs of the hands of the clocks. The “master” clock will eventually be the only one showing the digits. By removing the numerals the pressure of time will be somehow eased. I feel this work expresses the way numbers especially when used to track time in a workplace can have an emotional negative connotation.

Susan Happersett

Irma Blank at Luxembourg & Dayan Gallery

The Luxembourg & Dayan gallery on the Upper East Side is presenting “Irma Blank painting between the lines” The work in this exhibition explores the visual structure of written language. Blank developed a process to represent text through gestural mark making without using actual alphabets or words.

In “Radical Writings, poem for Gaston Bachelard”, oil on canvas from 1995 Blank illustrates the basic geometry of the traditional codex book form. There is a vertical central spine and the evenly spaced horizontal lines.

Using linear parallel brush strokes to substitute for written language, the artist has removed the literal content from the concept of a book and focused on the abstract shapes and lines.

Susan Happersett

Jordan Belson at Mathew Marks

Mathew Marks Gallery’s currently exhibition ” Jordan Belson: Paintings 1950-1965″ features 23 painting  some never seen before) and 4 films. Jordan Belson was a renowned, ground breaking film maker. His work was heavily influenced by the psychedelic activities in San Francisco during the 1950’s, but he was committed to the use of science and geometry in both his films and his paintings.

“Porazzo Polyhedra”, casein, tempera and pastel on board from 1965 incorporates pentagons and octagons to form a sphere. This is a clear reference to Buckminster Fuller’s geodesic domes.

This “Untitled” painting also from 1965 shows the artist’s interest in circles and rotational symmetry.

Belson did not exhibit his paintings after 1950. Looking at his work today we can see his paintings were ahead of their time and foreshadow the work of painters in the late 1960’s and 1970’s

Susan Happersett

Alicja Kwade on the roof at the MET

Each Spring the Metropolitan Museum of Art unveils a new installation. This year the museum is presenting an Alicja Kwade”s installation titled “Parapivot”.The two steel and stone sculptures are based on perceptions of solar systems. Each is comprised of a series of rectangular black steel frames with stone orbs balanced on the beams. One structure features 3 intersecting rectangles and the other has 5 rectangles.
Here is the sculpture with 5 rectangles.
Each of the five frames are perpendicular to the ground. Looking at the work from a distance the view of the rectangular frames is distorted, appearing to be trapezoids and other irregular quadrilaterals.
Focusing on the  intersecting lines of the bases of the rectangles helps to understand how the shapes have been arranged in space. Building  a 3-D steel line drawing to create flat open planes juxtaposed with the weightiness of the stone spheres Kwade presents questions of perception.
Susan Happersett