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Composite, MoMath’s exciting temporary exhibition gallery, serves as the home to a diverse collection of shows and installations that highlight the breadth of human pursuits that mathematics can illuminate. Visiting Composite is free with admission to the Museum.

Venn Pirouettes, the Art of Michael Schultheis

Opening in Composite Saturday, January 25; preview on Thursday, January 23

Michael Schultheis paints and sculpts using math equations as models for stories about human relationships: limaçon curves that have interior and exterior loops are used to represent a person’s interior and exterior, while Venn diagrams demonstrate the way in which humans overlap in their relationships with one another.  His work explores the many intersections between mathematics and art.

Recently featured in Composite

Math Unfolded: An Exhibit of Mathematical Origami Art

Start with a piece of flat paper, make a few folds, and suddenly you have a landscape of mountains and valleys, shadows and light.  Make more folds and you have an object that is deeply surprising in its transformation and artistic beauty.  Math Unfolded was a temporary exhibition in Composite, the gallery at MoMath, that demonstrated how origami artists can persuade paper to embody the beauty of mathematics.  The exhibit featured the creations of over 20 artists who use mathematical inventions and interpretations to create compelling works of art.  This exhibition was curated by Charlene Morrow, the Board Chair of OrigamiUSA, and Wendy Zeichner, the CEO of OrigamiUSA.

Solid Math

Solid Math was a temporary exhibition in Composite, the gallery at MoMath, featuring sculptures based on the geometry of Platonic, Archimedean, and Catalan polyhedra.  The inherently precise nature and elegant symmetries of these mathematical forms have made them subjects of fascination for mathematicians over the centuries.

A work of art is very often a balance between constraint and freedom, an exploration of expressive possibilities within a finite set of compositional rules.  This exhibition featured the work of mathematically-inclined artists — Rinus Roelofs, Bathsheba Grossman, Carlo H. Séquin, Henry Segerman, Phil Webster, and Hans Schepker — who have created works based on the geometry of regular polyhedra.  These mathematical forms provide the formal constraints as well as the rhythmic underpinnings for the artists’ pieces presented in this show.

Boy holding polyhedra




What’s So Funny About Math?

What’s So Funny About Math? was a temporary exhibition in Composite, the gallery at MoMath, featuring a collection of cartoons related to math and curated by former New Yorker Cartoon Editor and present Cartoon and Humor Editor of Esquire, Bob Mankoff.  Each cartoon was paired with commentary from someone interesting who works in a math-related field.  Cartoonists featured in the show included Roz Chast, Drew Dernavich, Dana Fradon, James Stevenson, Robert Leighton, Jack Ziegler, Charlie Hankin, Sidney Harris, Nate Fakes, Dan Reynolds, Mike Seddon, Pat Byrnes, Mark Heath, Nick Kim, and of course, the inimitable Bob Mankoff himself.




Reflections

MoMath presented Reflections, an exploration of the intriguing geometries of the reflected world. Reflections have fascinated humanity since time immemorial. The nature of the image we see in a mirror, or in a still body of water, can seem paradoxical and mysterious. Through a series of engaging interactive experiences, Reflections explored the intriguing geometries of the reflected world, revealing profound truths about the very nature of space.

Reflections featured the work of artists Michael Curry and Scott Kim; MoMath is also grateful for the contributions of David Sweet and Alan White.

 

Eroded Theories: The sculptures of Antal Kelle ArtFormer

Award-winning artist Antal Kelle ArtFormer visited MoMath to discuss his artwork, Helix Opus 124, and to showcase other artworks through a series of photographs from his “Eroded Theories” collection, taken by his daughter, Emese Kelle-Kaleem, and curated by Kristof Fenyvesi.

Antal Kelle ArtFormer discussing his artwork with a crowd



The Insides of Things: The art of Miguel Berrocal

Featuring the work of Spanish sculptor Miguel Berrocal, MoMath’s recent art exhibit The Insides of Things: The Art of Miguel Berrocal showcased the masterful craftsmanship of Berrocal’s art. Visitors were able to try their hands at assembling and disassembling a replica of one of Berrocal’s stunning works and discovered why the piece had something in common with MoMath’s Enigma Café.

The National Museum of Mathematics wishes to thank the late Samuel Sensiper for his donation of the Berrocal collection as well as Michele and Stan Rosen for supporting the opening reception in his memory.



Luminaries: the optical imagery of Matthew Brand

Evoking figures from ancient Egypt to the medieval Silk Road to modern casinos, light artist Matt Brand has captured some of history’s most intriguing thinkers. Luminaries featured the world’s first large-scale show of lumography — smooth, water-clear lenses whose undulating surfaces rearrange light beams into ghostly morphing pictures. Many years in development, Brand’s marriage of sand castle mathematics and swimming pool optics premiered on 2014 December 6, and closed on 2015 April 30.



Compounding Visions: the concave drawings of Trevor and Ryan Oakes

In Compounding Visions, twins Ryan and Trevor Oakes demonstrated their method for creating spherically concave drawings — a technique that has been described as one of the most original breakthroughs in the rendering of visual space since the Renaissance. The artists spent four weeks creating a new concave drawing of the Flatiron Building from a vantage in Madison Square Park, using their custom curved metal easel and referencing Edward Steichen’s haunting iconic 1904 photograph of that then-freshly-built NYC landmark.

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Do you have a great idea for a mathematical art show?  Send it to MoMath! Applications are open here: applycomposite.momath.org.

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