The connection between mathematics and art goes back thousands of years. Mathematics has been used in the design of Gothic cathedrals, Rose windows, oriental rugs, mosaics and tilings. Geometric forms were fundamental to the cubists and many abstract expressionists, and award-winning sculptors have used topology as the basis for their pieces. Dutch artist M.C. Escher represented infinity, Möbius bands, tessellations, deformations, reflections, Platonic solids, spirals, symmetry, and the hyperbolic plane in his works.
Mathematicians and artists continue to create stunning works in all media and to explore the visualization of mathematics--origami, computer-generated landscapes, tesselations, fractals, anamorphic art, and more.
"Bended Circle Limit III," by Vladimir Bulatov (Corvallis, OR)
24" x 24", Digital print, 2012
Best photograph, painting, or print, 2013 Mathematical Art Exhibition
M.C. Escher's hyperbolic tessellations Circle Limit III is based on a tiling of the hyperbolic plane by identical triangles. The tiling is rigid because hyperbolic triangles are unambiguously defined by their vertex angles. However, if we reduce the symmetry of the tiling by joining several triangles into a single polygonal tile, such tiling can be deformed. Hyperbolic geometry allows a type of deformation of tiling called bending. Let's extend the tiling of the hyperbolic plane by identical polygons into tiling of hyperbolic space by identical infinite prisms. The prism's cross section is the original polygon. The shape of these 3D prisms can be carefully changed by rotating some of its sides in space and preserving all dihedral angles. Such operation is only possible in hyperbolic geometry. The resulting tiling of 3D hyperbolic space creates 2D tiling on the infinity of hyperbolic 3D space, which is a Riemann sphere. The sphere is stereographically projected to the plane. -- Vladimir Bulatov