Hanna Darboven at Petzel Gallery

“Fin de Siecle – Buch der Bilder” ,a solo exhibition of Hanna Darboven’s work, is currently at Petzel gallery in Chelsea.

In the October issue of Art Forum magazine Darboven comments on the use of numerals. “It has nothing to do with Mathematics. Nothing! I choose numbers because they are so steady, limited, artificial. To me, in artistically separating the digits in numbers from the idea of mathematics, is a mathematical act. 

At the show at Petzel, a multitude of complex images fill the gallery walls, creating an abstract work that transcends both the numbers and the marking of time, documented by Darboven’s “day calculations” from 1988–1989.

Here is a close up of one on the framed pieces in the exhibition. This page at first just looks like a numerical progression. The numbers correspond to to calendar days. Date, Month , Year. In this case 4 25 88 refers to April 25, 1988. 

Susan Happersett

Tara Donovan at Pace Gallery, NYC

Tara Donovan’s recent screen drawings are currently on display at Pace Gallery in Chelsea. Donovan uses Mathematics to determine how to physically manipulate multiple layers on aluminum insect screens to create interference patterns. By pinching and cutting select wires using a predetermined rule set, the artist creates amazing geometric drawings.

Susan Happersett

Disco Loop at JMM 2023

My contribution to the art exhibit at the Bridges conference was my sculpture “Ribbon Loop”

Susan Happersett
Ribbon Loop
20 x 20 x 20 cm
Ink on paper

“Ribbon Loop” is an example of my newest paper hyperbolic form “disco loops.” Each of these sculptures consists of 5 paper geometric stadiums. Geometric stadiums are created when a circle is split in half and a rectangle is placed between the two halves. The five pieces have the same pattern on both sides. For “Ribbon Loop” the pattern is similar to a grosgrain ribbon. The geometric stadiums are given slits and connected to to form a helix, then unwound to connect the loose ends. The resulting undulating sculpture is a two sided curved hyperbolic surface.

Susan Happersett

More from the JMM Boston 2023 Art Exhibit

David Kaufman
Dichroic Crystal
27 x 27 x 27 cm

David Kaufman’s “Dichroic Crystal” got it shape by switching out the edges of a icosahedron for rhombi. Using the tool Polygonia, Kaufman created symmetrical patterns that were etched onto the acrylic planes. The transparent properties of the acrylic material allow the viewer to see the patterning at different angles simultaneously.

Expansion 3
23 x 33 cm
Digital Photograph

The digital photograph “Expansion 3” by Elizabeth Whiteley started with the artist drawing a diagram based on Dynamic Symmetry. After cutting into the lines of the drawing the paper was bent and curved from a 2-D surface into a 3-D object. The next step was to photograph the sculpture using monodirect lighting. The complex grey scale patterns of the shadows transformed the line diagram into a complex abstract composition.

More soon.

Susan Happersett

Joint Mathematics Meeting 2023

Happy New Year Everyone!

It is January that means it is time for the JMM Conference – also known as the Joint Meeting of Mathematics This year it was held in Boston, Massachusetts. I was lucky enough to attend the meeting and enjoyed many interesting lectures, but for me the highlight is always the Art Exhibition. There was a lot of great work on display and the gallery was busier than ever, it was quite crowded. I had more Mathematicians inquiring about my work than in past years.

I can not discuss every piece in the show, but I will highlight a few.

Richard Harrington
Twin Crystal
28 x 28 x 28 cm
Hardware Cloth

“Twisted Crystal” by Richard Harrington is made from hardware cloth and features a composition of two combined cubes into a form with hexagonal symmetry. I really like Harrington’s choice of material. The gridded transparency of the hardware Cloth allows the viewer to see both cubes simultaneously. Looking at the sculpture from different angles the moiré patterns of multiple layers of the grid change.

Felicia Tabing
28 x 38 cm
Gouache and pencil on watercolor paper

Felicia Tabing’s “two-thirds”, explores the concept of a converging geometric series using pencil and gouache.
The artist started with a rectangle took away 1/2 then added back 1/4. (1-1/2+1/4) the white spaces are the 1/4 that did not get added back. The more interactions of this process, the closer the painted area gets to being 2/3 of the total original rectangle.
Tabing’s painterly approach to filing in the spaces is a refreshing take on the subject.

More from JMM in a few days

Susan Happersett

Derek Porter at The Everson Museum

The Everson Museum in Syracuse has a new site specific installation in their stairwell. Derek Porter’s “Faceted Wrap” 2022, consists of 1600 mirrored reflectors. 

Each of the polished stainless steel rectangles has 2 parallel folds with congruent sections bent forward.

This creates a fractured sense of space for the viewer. The lines of the rectangles both flat and folded outward divide the visual content into a multitude of linear fragments, offering a disjointed reality.

Susan Happersett

Thomas Ruff at David Zwirner gallery

 The David Zwirner Gallery in Chelsea is currently presenting Thomas Ruff’s exhibition “d.o.p.e”. The title of the show references Aldous Huxley’s 1954 book “ The Doors of Perception” and features new work by the photographer. Using special computer software Ruff creates mathematical images that reflect on the self similarities and the repetitive nature of fractal forms. The patterns are then digitally printed on industrial carpeting. All of the work in the show is from 2022 and are printed in an edition of 4.

“d.o.p.e 04.I” 2022

The viewer gets the feeling that generated patterning in these works is quite detailed. The use of the carpeting as the substrate creates a more ethereal presence, softening the edges. In a sense romanticizing the mathematics. 

Bringing the designs off the monitor screen and onto a textured surface, the artist has given the work an organic quality.


Shanthi Chandrasekar at the Art on Paper Fair

The Art on Paper Fair was held earlier this month on Pier 36 in Manhattan. There were a few large scale site-specific installations. LAMINAproject presented Shanthi Chandrasekar’s Entropy: Macrostates & Microstates. The work features 36 systems of paper circles with holes punched in them. The randomness of the hand punched holes in each circle is reduced as the circles get smaller.

The circles have been suspended from the ceiling with clear wires that allow them to move.

The overlapping patterns create complex patterns exploring both entropy as well the concept of positive and negative space. It was wonderful to see such a fantastic use of all white paper to create what felt like a living 3-dimensional environment.

Susan Happersett

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.