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Math ImageryThe connection between mathematics and art goes back thousands of years. Mathematics has been used in the design of Gothic cathedrals, Rose windows, oriental rugs, mosaics and tilings. Geometric forms were fundamental to the cubists and many abstract expressionists, and award-winning sculptors have used topology as the basis for their pieces. Dutch artist M.C. Escher represented infinity, Möbius bands, tessellations, deformations, reflections, Platonic solids, spirals, symmetry, and the hyperbolic plane in his works.

Mathematicians and artists continue to create stunning works in all media and to explore the visualization of mathematics--origami, computer-generated landscapes, tesselations, fractals, anamorphic art, and more.

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Home > 2010 Mathematical Art Exhibition

"Solar System," by Eve Torrence (Randolph-Macon College, Ashland, VA)

Watercolor on paper, 8.5'' x 8.5'' x 8.5", 2009. This polyhedron is comprised of ten tetrahedra. Two mirror-image compounds of five tetrahedra are merged to form the solid. When the polyhedron is rendered in a single color it is difficult to distinguish the individual tetrahedra, in part because some pairs of faces are coplanar. To help the viewer resolve this visual puzzle, the ten tetrahedra have been painted with distinct patterns and colors, which are suggestive of the Sun and the nine planets. The overall star-like quality of the polyhedron, and the tight entwining of the tetrahedral "planets", is evocative of our solar system. "I love the symmetric beauty of polyhedra and enjoy using paper to create models to study. Through the process of creating a model I am able to truly understand its structure. My own curiosity about the underlying structure of this compound of ten tetrahedra led me to make a multicolored model. I was inspired by the 2009 exhibit 'Images of the Universe from Antiquity to the Telescope' celebrating the 400th anniversary of Galileo's discovery of our moon's craters. This model pays homage to Renaissance depictions of the solar system that used various polyhedra to model the celestial bodies." --- Eve Torrence (Randolph-Macon College, Ashland, VA)

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