Welcome to a new series I like to call Art for All. You all know that The Junkyard’s mission is to bring art to everyone because we believe that it’s for everyone. Thing is, not everyone always feels like the art world is welcoming them with open arms, but we’re going to change all that in the only way we know how – talking about some people that we think are neat and hoping you do too.
In our first installment, we’re bringing art to those who have an analytical, quick-thinking, problem-solving, mind: Mathletes. I’ve got some obvious choices, some wild cards, and a few others in there that I think you will enjoy.
“I am always wandering around in enigmas…”
He’s an obvious choice, of course, but I would be remiss if I didn’t include him. His work is as exciting to see the 5th, 6th, 7th time as it is for the first, and discovering some of his lesser known works is a revelation. I mean, I know how he does it, but I just don’t get how he does it.
“I see no reason for recording the obvious.”
Weston’s work is sensual, rhythmic, and balanced, and his focus on form, symmetry, light, and shadow make him top my list. There is a stark understanding I feel when I look at his work, as if by a single image I understand the whole. His photographs, as they are deceivingly simple but precisely made, just scream ‘this is it!’. His photographs are the visual equivalent of 1 + 1 = 2, they are exactly as they seem, without any nonsense getting in the way.
“Arise, comrades, and free yourselves from the tyranny of objects!”
My dearest Kazimir, I have loved him since my first brush with his Supremacist paintings in college. Malevich is here because his dedication to the reduction of form makes him a rule-breaker of different sorts in the art world. While there is a clear simplicity to his paintings (it’s a bunch of rhombuses, I get it) his ability to break form and focus only on the elegance of shape and dimension is why he makes this list.
“The image is not a painting, but a structure around which we must circle, looking at it from all sides, peering down from above, investigating from below.”
If Kazimir is a little too much for you (or not enough, in some cases?) then check out El Lissitzky. He and Malevich studied together, though Lissitzky’s passion for architecture and communication through graphic arts are what set him apart. A little smoother, a little cleaner, and no mark goes to waste.
I really love the work of Julie Mehretu. I find it really beautiful if the way she can make a frenzy of lines feel so gentle, like a cloud hiding the storm inside of it. Using maps and the history behind the location as a guide, Mehretu essentially takes real space and makes it exist in the ether.
So there you have it! There are hundreds of thousands of other artists out there that will appeal to the mathematically inclined and they work in all mediums and subject matters. The arts and sciences are intimately intertwined and to deny the marriage of the two is to deny what could be a great source of joy, inspiration, and release in your life. If you absolutely hate my suggestions, as I suspect some of you will, there are artists out there for you. Just keep swimming.