“Donald Moffet: any fallow field”, the current solo exhibition at the Marianne Boesky gallery in Chelsea features work that pose a conversation on human’s apathy for nature. “Lot 052215 (graphic)” is one of the artists recent extruded paintings, created using a process that coaxes the oil paint into hair like bristles that seem to grow out of the canvas.
Like much of the work in the show this painting is structured in a way that brings the work off the wall into the gallery space, creating sculptural quality that produces shadows. The overall pattern explored in this piece is a square format created using 13 circles that has order-4 rotational symmetry. The center section of the shape is a 3 by 3 grid square, but by adding a circle to the center of each of the sides, a diamond with 5 stacked diagonal rows is formed. This structure to me alludes to structures found in nature, like honey combs. The use of the graphite colored bristles lends the work a foreboding presence.
The Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary is featuring an 11 month exhibition titled “Explode Every Day – An Inquiry into the Phenomena of Wonder”. This title is in reference to the Ray Bradbury quote:
You remain invested in your inner child by exploding every day. You don’t worry about the future, you don’t worry about the past-you just explode.
(from Sam Weller, Listen to the echoes: The Ray Bradbury Interviews, 2010)
This exhibition is a reaction to our current, fast, information society. It challenges the viewer slow down and take in less information but experience it in a deeper way. The Institute for Figuring and Margaret Wertheim designed paper cards that can be folded to build fractal structures. They use the techniques of Dr Jeannine Mosely’s business card origami. The IFF is known for their work with Hyperbolic geometry and the crocheted coral projects. This work takes on new mathematically influences.
This wall piece named “Fractal Ruins” illustrates some basic forms each with order-4 rotational symmetry, but their sculptures can take on much more complex fractals as well as experiments in randomness.
Situated above one of the gallery entrances Rachel Sussman’s neon formula “Krypton Relativity” asks us to explore the aesthetic qualities of Mathematical and scientific formulae. The krypton gas gives a natural glow highlighting the purely visual elements of the work. The need to understand the information contained with in the symbols is not a requirement to appreciate its beauty. This sign acts as an invitation to explore the scientific subject matter and the means of communicating the data on a different level.
The iconic Flatiron building on 23rd street in Manhattan is home to the Sprint Flatiron Prow Art Space, a bright triangular room of windows, that can be viewed from the sidewalks of both Fifth avenue and Broadway. In coordination with Cheryl McGinnis Gallery, artists fill the space with interesting, temporary projects. This winter, Chelsea Hrynick Browne’s exhibition “Flakes” consists of vertical strings suspended with a multitude paper shapes.
Each two-sided shape is created by cutting and layering pieces origami paper. Browne’s intricate paper cutting relies on Mathematics to create the symmetrical patterns. These two examples each feature order-4 rotational symmetry. The use of contrasting colored papers affords an interesting expression of positive and negative space.
Each of the flakes is two-sided. Some flakes are circular and others are square, but my favorite flakes have 16 sides. These extra special flakes are formed by two back-to-back square paper cuts with a 45 degree rotation.
“Flakes” is a terrific installation for Winter in NYC. Each of the paper cut outs is different and they colorfully beckon to pedestrians navigating the snow and grey slush. I stumbled across this display and it made my whole day better. I am always amazed and happy to be able to find so many great examples of Mathematical art as I go about town.
Matteawan Gallery in Beacon, New York is currently exhibiting works on paper by Dominick Talvacchio, in a show named “The Eros of Mathematics”. Talvacchio has a background and education in mathematics. His work has been exhibited extensively throughout the United States and Europe. The visual dialog in his print and drawings express his interest in the inherent beauty of the order and structure found in mathematics.
In the print “Arcs Missing Arcs”, Talvacchio has created a 4 by 4 grid of touching circles with only sections of the circles visible. These arcs create a series of graceful and organic curves. The viewer senses the existence of the underlying grid pattern, but is allowed to enjoy the sensual aesthetics of the segmented curves.
The drawing “Kairovan Below” features two elements. First, an underlying, lightly-drawn tiling. Second, a selection of line segments from the tiling, drawn in a darker black. The tiling has a four-fold rotational symmetry. Within this symmetrical pattern there are five-point non-symmetrical stars. The juxtaposition of the overall symmetry of the tiling against the not-quite-symmetrical stars creates an interesting tension. By making some of the lines darker and more pronounced, Talvacchio allows a simplified but elegant pattern to emerge.
Artist talk and reception
On June 1st from 2-4 at Matteawan Gallery there will be an artist talk and closing reception for “The Eros of Mathematics”. I will be there to participate in the discussion about the relationships between mathematics and art. All are welcome.
Matteawan Gallery is located in Beacon. A small city north of New York City, situated on the Hudson River. It is the home of DIA Beacon, a museum dedicated to displaying long-term, large-scale gallery presentations of single artist displays, with emphasis on conceptual art and minimalist work. They have an excellent selection of Sol LeWitt’s wall drawings currently on view. I would suggest DIA Beacon as an excellent destination for a day trip for any math art enthusiast. While you are in town, check out the galleries on Main Street.
Imi Hwangbo at Pavel Zoubok Gallery
Pavel Zoubok Gallery is exhibiting the hand and laser cut mylar 3-D drawings of Imi Hwangbo. Using layers of colored mylar sheets, Hwangbo creates intricate geometric reliefs that have both depth and line. In the piece “Azure Seer” (2004), a grid of squares is meticulously cut from each sheet of mylar. Sheets with larger squares are at the front. With each sheet the squares get ever so slightly smaller until the farthest sheet has no cutout. This method creates a grid of inverted pyramids. It is very common for Math enthusiasts to cut and fold paper to make 3-D geometric solids. Hwangbo’s process of cutting into the layers to make geometric voids is a fresh approach.
In a more recent work named “Lens 2” (2013) Hwangbo has layered a series of net-like webs of patterns in hand-colored red and blue sheets. In the pattern there are intersecting blue circles with perpendicular diameters. These diameters run diagonally across the work creating a diamond grid. Then, in red layers there are two different sizes of smaller circles. Looking at a small section you can see the order 4 rotational symmetry around the center of each blue circle.
Hwangbo has been influenced by ornamentation from religious and spiritual architecture. This inspiration enables her work to transcend the flatness of the mylar and create environments of space, light, and pattern.
Richard Kalina at Lennon Weinberg Inc.
My fascination with MathArt goes beyond art whose direct theme is Mathematics. I am also intrigued by work that is inspired by, or is a reaction to, the systems in Mathematics. Richard Kalina‘s new work falls in this category. Lennon Weinberg Inc is currently exhibiting his works on paper, as well as collages on linen. Using a background grid consisting of overlapping rectangles of white paper in “Nominal Space” (2012) Kalina paints a collection of brightly colored circles. These circles interact through a network of black straight lines that connect them. The lines have one of three possible directions: vertical, horizontal or diagonal, from lower left corner up to upper right corner. Each circle can have one, two, or three connecting lines radiating out from it, creating angles of 45 degrees. 90 degrees, 135 degrees, or 180 degrees. The patterns of connections seem like an homage to the molecular and geometric models we made in high school.
For the collage on linen “Neochrome” (2013) Kalina changed the rules with regard to the angles of the connecting lines. There are many more possible angle structures and the circles can have up to six connections. “Neochrome” has the energy of a complex flow chart with many possible routes to connect different elements within the network. Richard Kalina has had a long and esteemed career in the Arts. His work is included in many museum collections including the National Museum of American Art, the Fogg Museum, and the Wadsworth Atheneum. Kalina has also served as a contributing editor for Art in America magazine.