To Infinity and Beyond: Mathematics in Contemporary Art, Heckscher Museum of Art, Huntington, NY


To Infinity and Beyond:  Mathematics in Contemporary Art, Heckscher Museum of Art, Huntington, NY, Mel Bochner, MINUS SPACE, Brooklyn

Mel Bochner, Theorem of Pythagoras, 1997
Wood engraving on handmade paper, 22 x 17-1/2 inches

April 19 — June 22, 2008

Our era is driven by the possibilities inherent in reducing countless observations to one mathematical formula and of generating seemingly random phenomena from a set of precise rules. The geometry of the universe has been summarized in E=mc 2, the Book of Life has been translated into the four-letter code of DNA, and machines computing with two digits have discerned patterns in the world of science and in everyday life. Yet despite its central position in the modern intellectual landscape, mathematics has often mystified the non-specialist because its secrets are written in a foreign language of mathematical symbols.

The intent of To Infinity and Beyond is to describe the ideas that drive mathematics—numbers, geometry, pattern, and so on—and to demonstrate how artists have expressed these topics. The exhibition will include an international selection of art inspired by mathematics, and the exhibition scripting will illuminate the sources of the work as found in symbols, formulas and graphs. Approximating a pictorial visualization of abstract concepts, To Infinity and Beyond will reveal the profound impact that these diagrams and patterns have had on the artists who create today’s visual environment, and demonstrate that mathematics—because of its abstractness—is the international language of exact thought.

Artists include: Richard Anuskiewicz, Max Bill, Mel Bochner, Squeak Carnwath, Roz Chast, Rupert Deese, Grace DeGennaro, Pedro De Movellan, Agnes Denes, M.C. Escher, Alfred Jensen, Jasper Johns, Donald Judd, Micha Lexier, Sol Lewitt, Anthony McCall, Manfred Mohr, Sharon Molloy, Francois Morellet, Olivia Parker, Rosamond Purcell, Rick Purdy, James Sanborn, Tom Shannon, Stephen Sollins, Bernar Venet, Julian Voss-Andreae, Ouattara Watts, Melvin Way, Rebecca Welz, Kevin Wixted and Richard Yarde.