Mark Reynolds is not a New Yorker in any domestic sense of the word. He holds tenure as a geometry and philosophy professor at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco. He also makes art and shows in a number of galleries on the two U.S. coasts. His first show in Brooklyn—at the Pierogi Gallery in 2013—made him something of an honorary citizen.

This Friday (May 5th), Reynolds returns to that center of NYC psychedelic art for a new show. So what’s all the hoopla, you ask?

Reynolds creates geometric graphs on 8.5″x11″ sheets of paper that work as both abstract art and experimental mathematics. Thin, bespectacled, and academic-looking, the middle-aged professor—the antithesis of sexy (god forbid!)—trods the intersection between art and science that forebears like M.C. Escher, Buckminster Fuller, and Kenneth Snelson did.

The Pierogi website describes his new show as compounding “the art/mathematics conflict inherent in drawing geometrically by regularly working with irrational numbers, numbers that cannot be measured precisely with any measuring system known.” A simplification might be that Reynolds’ graphs plot geometric equations that are unrelated mathematically, yet seem to have a mysterious, visual coherence.

Ephemeral collectors have long appreciated the aesthetic value of antique charts and graphs. Yet Reynolds is not simply creating work in service of science. He is employing an aesthetic direction whose incongruence to math does not eliminate the possibility of unknown connections—ones that don’t fit neatly into traditional systems, but may yet yield new discoveries. (Brian Chidester)


The Phi Root Two Series, Tulpa XII, 12.13.14  27