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.
"Meandering Eightfold Path," by Margaret Kepner (Washington, DC)
Flat: 18" x 18"; Folded: 3" x 6" x 0.5", Archival Inkjet on Paper, 2012
This work is a modified version of an earlier design – The Eightfold Path. Colors have been added, and the flat 2D print has been deconstructed into a folding book format. The underlying design is a visual presentation of the five non-isomorphic groups of order eight: C8, C2 x C4, C2 x C2 x C2, D4, and Q8. It employs a visual vocabulary derived from a traditional quilt pattern, Drunkard’s Path. Each of the small shapes used in the design is a quarter circle in a square, scaled so that its area equals the square’s residual area. The 36-page book structure is created from a single sheet of paper through a series of cuts and folds. A continuous meander folding path is followed, with varying length fold-sequences, and no beginning nor end. When it is fully folded up, the book assumes a double-square footprint. A smaller-scale meander path, which would result in a continuous 144-page book, is expressed through color accents. -- Margaret Kepner