Monday, July 7, 2008

Math Ideas, Art Ideas

I've posted several quotes (and here) on the relationship of art to math. I found a good one in the excellent monograph, Robert Mangold. Mangold ended his "Statement for a Panel on Abstract Art, 'The Geometric Tradition in America Art 1930-1990', Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, 1993" with the following:
"Whatever role geometry plays in my work I see as incidental. I have used circles, squares, ellipses, and all manner of four- and many-sided forms and combine forms. I see no difference between this and the way a writer or poet would use words and made-up words to express an idea: the key is to express an idea.

Abstraction is an idea. Geometry is not." [Robert Mangold by Richard Shiff, Robert Starr, Arthur C. Danto, and Nancy Princenthal. New York, Phaidon Press Inc., ISBN 0 7148 4448 9. page 164]
There's disagreement among artists about whether art or math is based on ideas. Compare Mangold's statement with this one from Mel Bochner's:
"Happily there seems to be little or no connection between art and mathematics (math deals with abstractions, art deals with tangibilities)." [Bochner, Solar System & Rest Rooms, Writings and Interviews, 1965-2007, Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, ISBN 978-0-262-02631-4, page 39-43]

Once again, here's my favorite quote from mathematician G. H. Hardy:

"A mathematician, like a painter or a poet, is a maker of patterns. If his patterns are more permanent than theirs, it is because they are made with ideas." G. H. Hardy (1877 – 1947)
Below, I include one of the latest prints from my Plane Symmetry series. Disclosure: to make this print I used programming, simple math, elementary algebra, the number PI, trigonometry, Bezier curves, and Euclidean geometry.

No comments: