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

“Sinnesrausch” in Linz, Austria

In The center of the city in Linz a huge interactive series of art installations has been installed until Oct 13th. Curated by Katherina Lackner and Genovea Ruckert, the exhibition tagline is “Elastic, Plastic, Fantastic”. The basic elements of visual art as a sensory thrill- point, line, space and time. Both contemporary work and important historical art are included in this ambitious exhibition. The viewer walks through of a circuit of installations situated on many floors and outside on the roof of the building.

This is a still shot from Manfred Mohr’s computer generated movie “Cubic Limit” from 1973-1974. Using straight lines and grids Mohr has shown a progression of cubic forms moving through space.

Mariana Apollonio’s Op Art piece “Spazio ad Attivazione Cinetica”, 1966-2015 creates the optical illusion of a warped plane using black and white concentric circles.

The most ambitious contemporary installation is on the roof. “Tube Linz” , 2019 is by the collective “Numen / For Use”
Viewers become part of the art when they climb into the undulating network of tunnels. The bright blue grid structure looks different from every position. Exploring line, space, and motion.

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.

More from the Bridges art exhibition in Linz, Austria

This year at Bridges there was a number of works made by beading artists.

Kris Empting Obenland used tiny beads to make the sculpture “Fit” . This work features 5 interlocking tetrahedra. I find the use of an alternating black and white beading pattern along the edges of the form creates a striking line drawing of the equilateral triangles in 3-D space.

“The Root Two Tunnel” by Jos Vromans is the generated by custom software written by the artist. This image on an aluminum panel was achieved by manipulating smaller squares within larger squares.The result is rotating triangles forming the illusion of a tunnel.

Susan Happersett

Bridges Conference 2019 – Linz, Austria

The annual Bridges Math/Art Conference was held in Linz, Austria this year. The art exhibition is an important part of the proceedings. I always find interesting new work feature on this blog.

This year there was a particularly diverse selection of work on display.

Master fiber artist Elaine Krajenke Ellison uses the art of quilt making to illustrate mathematical phenomenon. The hand-sewn quilt titled “The Sum Of Odd Integers” accomplishes the difficult feat of representing all 17 symmetry patterns.

Krystyna Burczyk creates 3-D sculptures by cutting, folding, and twisting sheets of paper. “Platenbau” features curved rectangular planes formed into a sphere using a complex interior structure but no adhesives.

Susan Happersett

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

Call for Artist’s Statements for Journal of Mathematics and the Arts (JMA) Special Issue

The Journal of Mathematics and the Arts has announced an upcoming special issue devoted to artist’s statements. I will be editing this issue as a guest editor.
A lot of artists are not familiar with the concept of Math Art and I am often asked what is Math Art?  Here is my definition: In order to be considered Math Art, art work must meet one or more of these three criteria:
(1) The work is created using mathematics,
(2) it presents mathematical themes,or
(3) it is expressing the effects of mathematics on society.
Any artist who makes work that falls into any of these classifications are encouraged to submit their statement for publication. You can find the submission guidelines here.
Susan Happersett