Esculturas Matematicás

November 23, 2006 - January 11, 2007, Universitat Politècnica de València, Valencia, Spain

Edited by UPV.
Text by Juan Bta. Peiro, Alfred Peris, Javier Barrallo and Ricardo Zalaya.

95 pages
published 2006

More information and pictures of the exhibition can be found at 'Valencia - exhibition'.

Equations in bronze - Javier Barrallo / Ricardo Zalaya
For centuries art and science have been viewed as antagonistic disciplines. The artist and the scientist have been presented as opposing stereotypes in an increasingly differentiated and plural society. Thus, an exhibition which explores the relationship between art and science, which shows us their similarities instead of their differences, is an exercise in both artistic exploration and intellectual tolerance. Science, or in this case mathematics, has been fundamental in the conception, design, development and even the physical creation of this collection of sculptures which in plain language we can call Mathematical Sculpture. It is a style which in its early manifestations studied patterns and models inspired by the Platonic ideas of balance and symmetry, but which nowadays has evolved away from classical forms towards more sophisticated concepts in line with an extremely technological society. Yet can artistic inspiration be derived from scientific experiments? Can scientific reason generate a work of art? This exhibition travels along the sometimes hidden, almost imperceptible fine line where art and science meet and separate, are composed and decomposed, embrace and push each other away. Like passionate lovers, like equations in bronze, like derivatives in stone, like symmetries in wood... Because there is also passion in mathematics. Theorems and algorithms become an imaginary hammer and chisel that give life to shapes hidden in the depths of a block of stone or a piece of bronze. Powerful computer programmes control three-dimensional modelling equipment which carves pieces that cannot be designed using manual techniques. Nonetheless, this will be the excuse wielded by those who will criticise the exhibition most strongly, unable to see a frontier which is opening up to unexplored worlds, places full of imagination where intelligence moulds matter. We have the opportunity to see mathematical concepts as complex and abstract as a representation of the

Peano-Hilbert curve projected on a Moebius strip. Yet we can go beyond this merely scientific description with its complex name and delight in the subtle curvature which enhances its lights and shadows, the intricate adornment which runs endlessly along the piece and the cold, gentle touch of the aged bronze sheen on our fingertips. Reason versus passion? For the first time in our country we can enjoy the work of five exceptional artists who combine their expertise in handling formulas and algorithms with their passion for shapes and textures. Helaman Ferguson, Carlo Sequin, George Hart, Bathsheba Grossman and Rinus Roelofs are among the best artists in their genre and it is a real pleasure to be able to bring them together at the Polytechnic University of Valencia which has always shown special interest in geometric sculpture, as a brief stroll around its campus quickly reveals. The diversity of the works chosen for this exhibition testifies to the endless possibilities for applying mathematics to sculpture, as they are influenced by concepts drawn not only from geometry but also from calculus, algebra, topology, and formal logic which invite experts and laypeople alike to experience the unique feeling of the beauty of mathematics in stone, wood and bronze.