A lot of people think of “geometric” art as being math-y, in the same sense that the band Maps & Atlases is math-y.

But I don’t think lines, circles, squares, tessellations, grids, and polygons are more mathematical than globsleaves, aleatorics, coloursnets, or scribbles. In fact, I can link to a math post about each: lines, circles, hypersquarespolytopes, aleatoricstessellations, blobs, gridsleaves, nets, scribbles, colours.

The mathematical thought that occurs to me when looking at this painting is how, in composition, every spot on the canvas influences every other spot. Holger Lippmann couldn’t have swapped a few of these circles because it would have ruined the effect.

Similarly in painting like this, if you added a splotch of yellow in the bottom right, that would affect the look of several other parts of the canvas.

Algebraically, the pieces of the composition are like a highly connected graph (in “how good it looks” space).

If you regressed compositional outcome against the content of each point in the painting (or just against the style of each circle), the relevant explanatory variables would be highly interactive terms. All the monomial, binomial, trinomial, … terms would be irrelevant.

 

The image is: 29417FlowerCircles_13_grid3 by holger lippmann, via wowgreat

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