Claremont, Calif. (October 9, 2017)—Pitzer College Professor of Mathematics David Bachman’s solo exhibition of 3D-printed and multimedia sculptures, Pattern, Symmetry, Growth and Decay, opens at MorYork gallery in Los Angeles on November 10. Bachman’s artwork celebrates the use of mathematics as a tool for the creation of art.
Bachman’s work draws from the idea that the beauty of mathematics is all around us; we see it and appreciate it all the time. Humans are naturally drawn to symmetry, for example, even if we don’t understand the equations that underlie symmetry. For the artist who does understand those equations, mathematics becomes a powerful tool. In Pattern, Symmetry, Growth and Decay, Bachman shows us the kinds of pieces an artist can create by using mathematics.
“Many of these works come from a mathematical process, rather than a single equation,” Bachman said. “When I start out, I don’t know exactly what is going to happen. It’s an iterative process that changes the form as it evolves.”
Bachman begins the construction process on a computer, writing code and blending it with hand-drawn shapes on the screen. He virtually sculpts these elements until he’s satisfied, and then fabricates some or all of the piece on a 3D printer in a variety of materials, including plastic, metal and ceramic. Finally, pieces are often sanded or painted by hand, and occasionally augmented with hand-built elements such as wood.
Along with upper-division mathematics courses like Differential Geometry and Low-Dimensional Topology, Bachman has co-taught courses with Assistant Professor of Art and ceramics artist Timothy Berg. In their course Math, Art & Environment, students learn how to use a computer-aided drafting program and study basic computer coding techniques to model three-dimensional objects virtually—techniques Bachman used to create the artwork in his solo exhibition.
Pattern, Symmetry, Growth and Decay at MorYork gallery is Bachman’s first off-campus solo exhibition. In 2015, Pitzer’s Barbara Hinshaw Gallery hosted his exhibition Mathematical Anesthetics.
MorYork is artist and collector Clare Graham’s Highland Park gallery. The 7,000-square-foot “Warehouse of Wonders” is home to Graham’s own creations as well as his vast collection of curiosities. Through shows and special events, MorYork supports and encourages artists who aren’t represented by a gallery. MorYork is located at 4959 York Blvd., Los Angeles, CA.
About David Bachman
Pitzer College Professor of Mathematics David Bachman is an expert on knot theory and 3-manifold topology. He is the author of A Geometric Approach to Differential Forms and Advanced Calculus DeMYSTiFieD. His latest book, Grasshopper: Visual Scripting for Rhinoceros 3D, shows readers how to model objects with a visual scripting platform and fabricate pieces with a 3D printer. Bachman received multi-year grants in 2009 and 2012 from the National Science Foundation to search for parallels between the shape of the universe and the curvature of soap films. He earned his PhD in mathematics at the University of Texas at Austin and his BA from SUNY at Binghamton.