|The Parthenon, made using the Golden Ratio.|
As a Mathematics major, I have always been aware of the beauty in mathematics. The perfect representation of complex equations on a simple two-dimensional graph is a sight to behold, and the image turns lovelier when you consider the innumerable, ingenious ways these equations are transmuted and morphed to fit into different models. However, I had never considered the application of these relationships into art, and how artists themselves are influenced by these mathematical ideas.
From the very beginning, art has both subconsciously and directly drawn from math, from the representation of shapes on Rene Descartes’ system to Brunelleschi’s use of linear perspective to induce depth in his art. As Professor Vesna detailed in her lecture, this tradition has continued into the modern day, with the golden ratio and fractals being incorporated into art every day.
|3D Fractal art generated by Apophysis (software)|
Math can also serve as a form of liberation for artists, as mentioned by Henderson in her article, with painters embracing the idea of a fourth dimension and leaving behind the trappings of Euclidian geometry. Conversely, artists can fully embrace these trappings, and represent them in their full glory, as was done in Flatland.
|Some of the math in Alice in Wonderland.|
The idea of math inspiring art intrigued me, and when I set about researching other works of art that were inspired by mathematics, I found an article detailing the math that inspired Alice in Wonderland. Curiously, this inspiration was not in the form of a representation of mathematical ideas, but instead a rejection or satire, as Lewis Carroll, a conservative, traditional mathematician, did not respect the changes that were occurring in his field of study.
After this week’s lectures, I found myself coming away with a greater understanding of the links between math and art. While I used to see them as disparate disciplines, I now realize they are intertwined with one another, feeding into and inspiring each other. Hopefully, I am able to incorporate this juxtaposition into my own life, and observe my major in a wholly different light!
Henderson, Linda Dalrymple. “The Fourth Dimension and Non-Euclidean Geometry in Modern Art: Conclusion.” Leonardo. 17.3 (1984): 205-210. Print.
Vesna, Victoria. “Mathematics-pt1-ZeroPerspectiveGoldenMean.mov.” Cole UC online. Youtube, 9 April 2012. Web. 11 Oct. 2012. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mMmq5B1LKDg&feature=player_embedded
Dianne Mizze. “Golden Parthenon”. Empty Easel. January 20, 2009. http://emptyeasel.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/01/golden-parthenon.jpg
Unknown. “Subliminal Messages in Alice in Wonderland.” The Original Jath. March, 2014 https://theoriginaljath.files.wordpress.com/2014/03/alice-math-2.jpg
Apophysis. “3D Fractal Art”. Apophysis. http://www.phidelity.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2007/10/3dfractalremixsm.jpg