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Math in Art.

The webquest showed the work of a wide variety of artists. Look at some modern, abstract art as well. Go to http://www.artcyclopedia.com/artists/kandinsky_wassily.html

to find out about the art of Vassily Kandinsky. Note the many ways his name is spelled – what is the reason for this? Choose one of his pictures, describe it, describe the mathematical shapes he uses, and describe your feelings when you look at the picture.

Then look at the art of Piet Mondrian at  http://www.artcyclopedia.com/artists/kandinsky_wassily.html  Do the same for one of his pictures.  He had a great influence on pop culture – look at the 60s fashions at http://www.fiftiesweb.com/fashion/mod-fashion.htm and find the clothes that were inspired by his art.

Finally, look at the art of Victor Vasarely at http://www.artcyclopedia.com/artists/vasarely_victor.html and describe one of his pictures in the same way as the others.

Look at the work of sculptors.


Mathematics professor Arthur Friedman said that: In a seashell we see the oneness of art, mathematics, and architecture.A seashell is an abode that is also an ingenious spiral form-space sculpture. Seashells also display a variety of beautiful two-dimensional designs on curved surfaces. Thus the oneness of art, mathematics, and architecture was already genetically coded in these very early life forms. I can imagine what it was like to have experienced the excitement of living in Florence during the Renaissance when there was no separation between art, mathematics, and architecture. This unification also resulted in a mutual enrichment of these fields. It is my purpose to energize a move toward a reunification of these fields in education. …..One can also see certain mathematical forms as art forms and creativity is about seeing from a new viewpoint. Thus it is all about seeing.

  Brainstorming questions:

            In what ways do you agree with Professor Friedman?

                In what ways do you disagree with Professor Friedman?

            How would you like it if math and art were taught together?

            In what ways would you learn more?

            In what ways would you learn less?

            How is it “all about seeing”?



This sculpture is Attitudes by Arthur Silverman. “Silverman placed six copies of the same object on separate bases in six different orientations. The object consists of a rectangle, parallelogram, and two triangles. People viewing the six separate sculptures often do not even realize that it is the same object.” Discuss “all about seeing”.

  Here are some sculptures of Carlos Sequin.  Explain that some were “printed “ out, and some are virtual. Ken Herrick makes fractal sculptures.

Look at Clifford Singer’s paintings - the lines are mathematical representations of equations. Remember when we graphed functions and produced a straight line – these are more complex functions that produce curved lines that you will study later.