Measure for Measure

February 10 – April 3, 2011
Opening Reception: Thursday, February 10, 6-8pm
Panel Discussion: Developments in Mathematical Art
Thursday, March 24th, 6:30pm
Dr. George Hart, Dr. Erik Demaine, Martin Demaine, Susan Happersett, Sarah Stengle
Special screening of Between the Folds and
Paper Modeling workshop with Daina Taimina
Thursday, March 3rd, 6:30pm
Curator: Maddy Rosenberg

Measure for Measure explores the art of mathematics and the mathematics of art. This exhibition highlights twenty mathematical artists and artistic mathematicians, the topology of the three-dimensional and the geometric illusions of three-dimensionality–and occasionally four. We follow the essential shape through transitions in planes and space, as it is drawn, painted, collaged as well as built, welded and crocheted.

Rosaire Appel “documents” things that are not, thereby placing the solemnity of most conceptual art on its head as she amply demonstrates that the cerebral can also be quirky and visual. Sarah Stengle‘s finely crafted highly conceptualized work bespeaks of a life surrounded by mathematics and art. Will Ashford fuses text and image in a way that makes us feel they could not exist one without the other as Pablo Helguera delves into the inner pages of textbooks in his collages that hint of a simpler time of understanding. The boxed numbers and geometric pieces of Julie Shaw Lutts, though reminiscent of school lessons, resonate more with the playground than the classroom. The MacArthur fellow Erik Demaine and his collaborator father Martin Demaine find a fusion of mathematics and art in the seemingly impossible variations of folding a single sheet of paper.

The British artist Helen Friel, in her first New York exhibition, wittily offers us cut, scored, and folded pages that make us willing participants in transforming her book into the correct way to read it, as Chris Palmer‘s geometric folded designs find their way from paper into cloth. Daina Taimina‘s elegant crocheted inventions of hyperbolic planes hang, sit and integrate into their environment; Julian Voss-Andreae‘s geometric models are of a harder kind. The delicate figures of Martha Lewis bring us back to the flat paper and then beyond it, with imagery echoing the mechanical walk of a Cubist. The complex three-dimensional objects of George Hart are formed by the repetition of seemingly simple shapes hooked together. Susan Happersett‘s predisposition to counting and repetition creates patterns from page to page while Philip Sugden interprets his own dream of the Fibonacci series in the surface of the canvas.

The artist’s books of Thomas Parker Williams emerge into mathematical sequences; Norweigan artist Kristoffer Myskja engineers a machine in wood, paper, and metal both sleekly constructed yet kinetically functional that creates numerical patterns. Susan Kaprov intrigues as we ponder the randomness of her enigmatic painted puzzles while Anne Gilman finds structure in the grid in her small calligraphic and image collages. The floating interventions of Cherry Pickles interweave fourth-dimensional drawings among the two and three-dimensional works of planes and space.

Folded with paper, woven from wool, assembled in plastic and molded through steel, these artists play with the truly fine line between art and mathematics.