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Math and Art Come Together in WAG Exhibition

February 16, 2014 10:09 AM | Entertainment

By Eden Ramsay (@EdenRamsay)

Math + Art

Math + Art exhibition at the Winnipeg Art Gallery (EDEN RAMSAY PHOTO)

Math + Art


Like many creatively-inclined people, I’ve never really been a fan of math in school.

It’s hard to imagine a pair as unlikely as math and art, but the Winnipeg Art Gallery has created a compelling Math + Art exhibition based on artists’ work inspired by mathematical concepts.

Are math and art really that opposite from each other? Math is the study of pattern which is often seen as an element in art. Math in art often revolves around the science behind what makes things visually appealing. Artists will use techniques such as symmetry, repetition, and pattern as tools to help create beautiful work.

Check out this great video titled Beauty of Mathematics from the exhibition’s website. It shows how everyday, normal occurrences can be broken down into complex mathematical equations. (Hint: view in fullscreen to see the fine details).

A nice addition to the art display is a series of Math + Art activity cards that explore the mathematical themes of Shape and Dimension, Number and Relation, and Symmetry and Patten. These allow visitors to involve themselves with specific works in the art show in a more hands-on way.

I enjoyed Robert Hedrick’s piece, Red-White-Blue, which explores geometry, pattern, and the relationship between shapes and colours. The beauty of this piece is being able to create a balanced looking work of art with an irregular-looking pattern of shapes.

Another great piece, Claude Tousignant’s Accelerateur Chromatique, playfully flirts with colour relationships, symmetry, pattern, geometry, and balance to create a fun, vibrant visual effect.

The exhibition opened December 7, 2013 and will be on until April 27. Admission is $12 for adults and includes viewing of the other exhibits on at the WAG so it’s worth the trip. See for yourself how two seemingly mismatched subjects have a lot more in common than you think and even make a surprisingly great pair together.

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Eden Ramsay is a Creative Communications student at Red River College. She has a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Honours) from the University of Manitoba and majored in graphic design. She loves culture, design in its many forms, and exploring the world around her.