Beauty in MathMath Tutor
Picturing Math – Art and Math
Math is just numbers and nothing else? Well, there is more to math than numbers and symbols. There is something more abstract – beauty itself. The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York had acquired, in 2015, a series of prints of equations drawn by ten prominent mathematicians and scientists. These ten prints of mathematical expressions is known as the Concinnitas portfolio, and they form the core of Picturing Math: Selections from the Department of Drawings and Prints, currently on view in the Met’s Robert Wood Johnson, Jr. Gallery.
Beauty in art and science
“As each print reflects a different formula written in a different hand by a different author, there are great variations in color, tone, script, and amount of detail present in each work. Together, the prints show not only the diversity of ideas proposed by some of the leading scientific minds, but, in a larger sense, challenge the very notion of ‘beauty’ and divisions between art and science,” said Jennifer Farrell, associate curator of drawings and prints at the Met. In the older art pieces, math is allegorical rather than formulaic, its systems broadly used to convey the order and balance of the world.
This exhibition also includes several modern and contemporary pieces showing how artists have more recently experimented with mathematics. Dorothea Rockburne uses “the golden mean”, a mathematical concept used since ancient times for the ideal balance of beauty.