Proyectosmonclova Gallery at the Armory Show – New York City

It is March of n NYC so it is time for the giant art fairs. This year at the Armory show on Pier 94 galleries from all over the world brought an exciting assortment of work.

The Proyectosmonclova gallery from Mexico City exhibited the work of two artists whose work have Mathematical implications.

Gabriel de la Mora’s “193,200” from 2019 has two distinct mathematical themes, both geometric and numerical.The use of parallel lines with increasing frequency from top to bottom creates an electrifying pulse of geometric forms. The three rectangular horizontal rows explore the idea of positive and negative space. This work was created using 7;728 used sides from 3,864 match boxes from 193,200 burnt matches. The act of counting each of these elements expresses the intensity and detail in De la Mora’s artistic practice.


Eduardo Terrazas creates geometric forms using wool yarn on wood boards for the series “ Possibilities of a Structure” from 2018. Each of these works have an underlying stitch pattern featuring order 4 rotational symmetry and a circle inscribed within the square structure of the board. The symmetry is broken by highlighting some of the geometric forms with colored thread. Each shape possesses one curvilinear side. The concept of a non symmetrical pattern with a symmetrical framework offers a refreshing way to look at geometry.

Susan Happersett

“Falling into Place” at Odetta Gallery

The Odetta Gallery in Brooklyn is currently presenting a group show titled “Falling into Space”. It explores how physical forces affect the position of objects the artists each utilized a distinct geometric language.
Mary Schiliro’s acrylic painting on Mylar “Cat’s Cradle 7” from 2006 incorporates two columns of circular cutouts. The vertical line of reflection symmetry resulting from the cutouts is subverted by the fluid veil of blue transparent paint.

Schiliro’s installment “Disembody” from 2017 continues the theme of a straight line of circular cutouts. The long Mylar ribbon is presented in loops hung from a plexiglass rod running through the center of the gallery. The forces of gravity creating the undulating curtain. The cutaways lined up to create a series of voids illustrating the concept of positive and negative space.

Daniel G Hill’s wire frame wall drawing “Dishtowel Fold” from 2018 is a construction using straight lines to present the basic outline and folds of a form effected by gravity. The two ends are isosceles right triangles. The left hand triangle flush against the wall and the right hand triangle falling forward off the plane.

All of the work in “Falling into Place” involves each artists’ geometric processes in a very personal way. The viewer can move through the gallery and interact with each piece on a very human level.

Susan Happersett

Michael Anastassiades at 10 Corso Como

10 Corso Como has recently opened a NY  location of the famous Milanese store. Like its Italian counterpart the new retail space at the Seaport in lower Manhattan features an art gallery.
Michael Anastassiades installation “Arrangements” is all about scale. Based on the concept of jewelry the designer creates over sized geometric outlines using rods of light to fill the gallery space.
Each arrangement is constructed using a singular geometric theme.
Here is a structure made up of circles.
And a type of curtain composed of squares.
It is great to see a large retail establishment that is dedicated to cultural endeavors and provides a large dedicated art exhibition space.
Susan Happersett

Olafur Eliasson at Moderna Museet Stockholm, Sweden

“Model Room”,  Olafur Eliasson’s huge installation of geometric models is on display at the Moderna Museet. The models were created in collaboration with Icelandic mathematician and architect Einar Thornsteinn.

Situated in a light filled entrance corridor of the museum, the huge vitrines contain an impressive cornucopia of mathematical forms. Eliasson refers to “Model Room” as a generous, spatial archive containing the entire DNA of his artistic oeuvre.

Susan Happersett

Paul Resika at Steven Harvey Fine Arts projects

The exhibition “Paul Resika: Geometry and the Sea” features recent paintings that blend landscape painting with geometric abstraction.

“Triangle-Sun” from 2017 features three triangles, two of them are right triangles, in the foreground. In the background Resika paints a more atmospheric sky and yellow sun.
“The White Moon”, from 2017 has an isosceles triangle formed from two back to back right triangles. It appears to be floating in the sea like a steep mountain island.

Resika creates a unique dialog between the natural world and straight edged mathematical geometric shapes.

Susan Happersett

Richard Anuszkiewicz at Loretta Howard Gallery

Richard Anuszkiewicz’s sculptural wooden wall constructions are currently on display in the exhibition “Translumina Series 1989-1993” at the Loretta Howard Gallery. These geometric forms present the illusion of three dimensionality but, except for low relief line carving the sculptures are flat.
“Orange Light- Day and Night” from 1990 resembles two open boxes with the openings angled in opposite directions. The left hand box opens upper wards towards the left and the right hand box opens down wards to the right. The use of parallel lines plays a important role in creation a sense of dimensionality.
The carved away white lines are thinner near the edges and thicker towards the center of each of the quadrilateral elements. This process has created the effect of shadows.
“Translumina- Marriage of Silver and Gold” from 1992 also features two open square boxes. In this sculpture the two geometric shapes appear to be entwined, creating a more complex representation of foreground and background. Anuszkiewicz’s geometric paintings offer the viewer contrasting perspectives on space. Low profile wood carving gives the work an objectness, actually coming slightly off gallery wall, but the work seems to be much more dimensional.
Susan Happersett

Delirious – Vertigo at the MET Breuer

When I heard the title “Delirious” of the current exhibition at the MET Breuer I did not immediately think Math Art. This show explores art from the 1950-1980 period that was in reaction to the tumultuous time after WWII. It includes a broad range of styles and themes. Two sections in particular feature work with mathematical implications :”Vertigo” and “Excess”. The introductory wall signage even mentions the artists’ use of mathematics and geometry.
There were so many pieces in this show that I would like to discuss that I will talk about it in two blog posts
One of the sections in the show is called “Vertigo”. Displayed in this area is work that warps the viewer’s perspective of space.
The 1965 painting  “Snap Roll” by Dean Fleming uses flat isosceles triangles, trapezoids, and a single central parallelogram to produce the illusion of a 3-D form simultaneously pushing out of the plane of the canvas, and retreating into the same plane. This disorienting phenomenon disputes Euclidean Geometry.
Robert Smithson’s Untitled (Model) from 1967 consists of a square grid of plastic panels. Carving away layers to reveal a diagonal step pattern, Smithson creates reflective symmetry. Although all of the ends of the elements retain their square shape along each column and row, the openings appear to stretch and warp. This sculpture questions the way space changes when we go from a 2-D flat plane into 3-D object.
There were just so many wonderful examples of mathematically inspired art in this exhibit, it is hard to do it justice in a blog format. Next time I will write about the section titled “Excess”.
Susan Happersett

Eric Erickson at Buster Levi Gallery

The paintings on display at Eric Erickson’s solo exhibition at the Buster Levi Gallery in Cold Spring, NY are part of a new series referred to as “Diagrams”. According to Erickson this work is “related to dubious diagrams often found with anything needing home assembly”.
The artist has taken the inaccurate 2-D schematic representations for the 3-D items we build and live with everyday and distilled the geometric qualities of these images into solid blocks of color and subtle painted line drawings. Although the original instructional diagrams may have lacked the necessary information to accurately represent real objects, the shapes themselves create interesting compositions.
Susan Happersett

“The Ritual of Construction” at the Byrdcliffe Guild, Woodstock, New York

The Kleinart/James Center for the Arts at the Byrdcliffe Guild in Woodstock, NY is currently presenting the exhibition “The Ritual of Construction. Curated by Jeanette Fintz, the show features work that has a foundation in geometry. Basic  mathematical  structures like circles, squares, and other polygons have been elevated through ritualistic repetition.

Benigna Chilla, “Crescents” 2013, Vegetable pigments and acrylic on canvas
Picture courtesy of the artist and the gallery

This large unstretched canvas by Benigna Chilla features a grid of circles segmented into squares and rectangles through the use of subtle coloration. An overlying pattern of six crescents incorporate a reflective symmetry. Chilla’s banner-like paintings have the spirit of devotional and meditative mandalas.

Stephen Westfall, “Live for Tomorrow”, 2010, oil and alkyd on canvas
Picture courtesy of the artist and the gallery

Stephen Westfall’s painting “Live for Tomorrow” is a colorful feast of reflective symmetry. The hard edge bands cutting diagonally across the four rectangles form a central square. Part of the interior section of the painting features order-4 rotational symmetry, but Westfall’s use of rectangles does not allow this to carry through the entire structure of the work, creating a kinetic pulse of color. I should probably mention that Stephen Westfall was my professor of Art Theory when I was in graduate school and I have always admired his work.

Laura Battle “Prism” 2016, Graphite on gray Arches paper
Picture courtesy of the artist and the gallery

Laura Battle “Prism” 2016, Graphite on gray Arches paper (Detail)
Picture courtesy of the artist and the gallery

Through the use of an astonishingly detailed repetitive accumulation of straight lines and concentric circles, Laura Battle creates “Prism”. From a distance, the subject of the drawing appears to be the central parallelogram that strategically touches all four edges of the drawing. Upon closer inspection it becomes apparent the real theme is the relationship between the two types of lines straight and curvi-linear lines. The intense process necessary for creating such an intense drawing definitely highlights the ritual aspects of the entire exhibition,
I am always happy to see an art show with a geometric intention. This diverse presentation goes a step further and asks us to go beyond the mathematical logic and think about geometry as a spiritual experience.
Susan Happersett