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.
"Champy," by George Hart (Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY)
32 x 32 x 32 cm, laser-cut wood, stained, 2016
Thirty components suggestive of "sea monsters" dance around each other, only touching at the hands and mouths. The arrangement of the thirty identical planar parts comes from the face planes of a rhombic triacontahedron, which provides a mathematical foundation for the structure. There are six parts in each of five colors, arranged with a five-color pattern based on the compound of five cubes. The order of the five colors of heads is different around each five-sided opening---all the even permutations. This was a prototype model for a larger (4-foot diameter) version of this design, installed at the Burr and Burton Academy in Vermont. The name "Champy" comes from the legend of a reputed lake monster said to be living in Lake Champlain. --- George Hart