Topologist’s Pool Toy

We have been having a hot and humid week in NYC so it was probably not the most well advised plan to go traipsing around the Lower East Side. I was thinking to myself what am I doing here in the midday sun walking from gallery to gallery and then… I saw this amazing sculpture that just seemed to scream Mathematics in the Summer time.

This inflated vinyl hanging form”Squirm” is the work of Doreen McCarthy and is part of the group show titled “Object’hood” at the Lesley Heller Workspace. This sculpture has the materiality of a classic tube used for floating around in a pool on a steamy afternoon. Topologically we think of the traditional pool toy as being a donut-like torus, but this baby blue version is a knot instead. It is a 3D interpretation of a trefoil knot, Which is a basic overhand knot with the ends joined together. I found “Squirm” to be a refreshing topographical Summer treat.
15-30-2Susan Happersett

Right Triangles – Cordy Ryman and Kwang Young Chun

It can be very interesting to see how the same type of shape is used it different contexts. Recently I saw the work of two artists both using right triangular 3-D wedges.

Cordy Ryman

Cordy Ryman has the installation “Zipper Spine” 2014 at the Lesley Heller Workspace gallery in the group exhibition “Destructure” curated by Jonathan Melville Pratt.


“Zipper Spine” is s series of 16 isosceles right triangles. They have two vertices with 45 degree angles and one vertex with 90 angle. The 16 wedges are attached to the wall in the vertical line of the corner. Each wedge has a 45 degree vertex positioned into the corner.
This placement creates a study of the equal positive and negative space of the 45 degree angle of the triangle in the 90 degree corner.

Kwang Young Chun

Kwang Young Chun also uses triangular wedges in his wall sculptures. Hasted Kraeutler gallery is currently hosting a solo show of Chun’s work. His art is created by using a multitude in polystyrene triangles wrapped in Korean mulberry paper. The result is complex 3-D patterning.
The large scale (69″X57″) assemblage “Aggregation 13-APO18” 2013 features right triangles of many sizes covering and protruding from the entire canvas. The result is a wild explosion of pattern and the texture.

Both Chun and Ryman are elevating the humble right triangle. But in very different ways. While Ryman uses consistency of size and shape to explore the theme, Chun uses hundreds of elements in varying sizes to build a dynamic environment.

More MathArt next time

Susan Happersett