This is a list of artists who actively explored mathematics in their artworks.^{ [3]} Art forms practised by these artists include painting, sculpture, architecture, textiles and origami.
Some artists such as Piero della Francesca and Luca Pacioli went so far as to write books on mathematics in art. Della Francesca wrote books on solid geometry and the emerging field of perspective, including De Prospectiva Pingendi (On Perspective for Painting), Trattato d’Abaco (Abacus Treatise), and De corporibus regularibus (Regular Solids),^{ [4]}^{ [5]}^{ [6]} while Pacioli wrote De divina proportione (On Divine Proportion), with illustrations by Leonardo da Vinci, at the end of the fifteenth century.^{ [7]}
Merely making accepted use of some aspect of mathematics such as perspective does not qualify an artist for admission to this list.
The term "fine art" is used conventionally to cover the output of artists who produce a combination of paintings, drawings and sculptures.
Artist | Dates | Artform | Contribution to mathematical art |
---|---|---|---|
Calatrava, Santiago | 1951– | Architecture | Mathematically-based architecture^{ [3]}^{ [8]} |
Della Francesca, Piero | 1420–1492 | Fine art | Mathematical principles of perspective in art;^{ [9]} his books include De prospectiva pingendi (On perspective for painting), Trattato d’Abaco (Abacus treatise), and De corporibus regularibus (Regular solids) |
Demaine, Erik and Martin | 1981– | Origami | " Computational origami": mathematical curved surfaces in self-folding paper sculptures^{ [10]}^{ [11]}^{ [12]} |
Dietz, Ada | 1882–1950 | Textiles | Weaving patterns based on the expansion of multivariate polynomials^{ [13]} |
Draves, Scott | 1968– | Digital art | Video art, VJing^{ [14]}^{ [15]}^{ [16]}^{ [17]}^{ [18]} |
Dürer, Albrecht | 1471–1528 | Fine art | Mathematical theory of proportion^{ [19]}^{ [20]} |
Ernest, John | 1922–1994 | Fine art | Use of group theory, self-replicating shapes in art^{ [21]}^{ [22]} |
Escher, M. C. | 1898–1972 | Fine art | Exploration of tessellations, hyperbolic geometry, assisted by the geometer H. S. M. Coxeter^{ [19]}^{ [23]} |
Farmanfarmaian, Monir | 1922–2019 | Fine art | Geometric constructions exploring the infinite, especially mirror mosaics^{ [24]} |
Ferguson, Helaman | 1940– | Digital art | Algorist, Digital artist^{ [3]} |
Forakis, Peter | 1927–2009 | Sculpture | Pioneer of geometric forms in sculpture^{ [25]}^{ [26]} |
Grossman, Bathsheba | 1966– | Sculpture | Sculpture based on mathematical structures^{ [27]}^{ [28]} |
Hart, George W. | 1955– | Sculpture | Sculptures of 3-dimensional tessellations (lattices)^{ [3]}^{ [29]}^{ [30]} |
Radoslav Rochallyi | 1980– | Fine art | Equations-inspired mathematical visual art including mathematical structures.^{ [31]}^{ [32]} |
Hill, Anthony | 1930– | Fine art | Geometric abstraction in Constructivist art^{ [33]}^{ [34]} |
Leonardo da Vinci | 1452–1519 | Fine art | Mathematically-inspired proportion, including golden ratio (used as golden rectangles)^{ [19]}^{ [35]} |
Longhurst, Robert | 1949– | Sculpture | Sculptures of minimal surfaces, saddle surfaces, and other mathematical concepts^{ [36]} |
Man Ray | 1890–1976 | Fine art | Photographs and paintings of mathematical models in Dada and Surrealist art^{ [37]} |
Naderi Yeganeh, Hamid | 1990– | Fine art | Exploration of tessellations (resembling rep-tiles)^{ [38]}^{ [39]} |
Pacioli, Luca | 1447–1517 | Fine art | Polyhedra (e.g. rhombicuboctahedron) in Renaissance art;^{ [19]}^{ [40]} proportion, in his book De divina proportione |
Perry, Charles O. | 1929–2011 | Sculpture | Mathematically-inspired sculpture^{ [3]}^{ [41]}^{ [42]} |
Robbin, Tony | 1943– | Fine art | Painting, sculpture and computer visualizations of four-dimensional geometry^{ [43]} |
Saiers, Nelson | 2014– | Fine art | Mathematical concepts ( toposes, Brown representability, Euler's identity, etc) play a central role in his artwork.^{ [44]}^{ [45]}^{ [46]} |
Séquin, Carlo | 1941– | Digital art | computer graphics, geometric modelling, and sculpture^{ [47]}^{ [48]}^{ [49]} |
Sugimoto, Hiroshi | 1948– | Photography, sculpture |
Photography and sculptures of mathematical models,^{ [50]} inspired by the work of Man Ray ^{ [51]} and Marcel Duchamp^{ [52]}^{ [53]} |
Taimina, Daina | 1954– | Textiles | Crochets of hyperbolic space^{ [54]} |
Thorsteinn, Einar | 1942–2015 | Architecture | Mathematically-inspired sculpture and architecture with polyhedral, spherical shapes and tensile structures ^{ [55]}^{ [56]} |
Uccello, Paolo | 1397–1475 | Fine art | Innovative use of perspective grid, objects as mathematical solids (e.g. lances as cones)^{ [57]}^{ [58]} |
Kosmalski, Mikołaj Jakub | 1986 | Digital art | Exploration of spreadsheet software capabilities (OO Calc and MS Excel), generation of finite sets of points by parametric formulas, connecting these points by curved (usually cubic) and broken lines.^{ [59]} |
Verhoeff, Jacobus | 1927–2018 | Sculpture | Escher-inspired mathematical sculptures such as lattice configurations and fractal formations^{ [3]}^{ [60]} |
Widmark, Anduriel | 1987– | Sculpture | Geometric glass sculpture using tetrastix, and knot theory^{ [61]}^{ [62]} |
Often consisting of repeating, flattened volumes tilted on a corner, Mr. Forakis's work had a mathematical demeanor; sometimes it evoked the black, chunky forms of the Minimalist sculptor Tony Smith.
The artist has suggested that his constructions can best be described in mathematical terminology, thus 'the theme involves a module, partition and a progression' which 'accounts for the disposition of the five white areas and permuted positioning of the groups of angle sections'. (Letter of 24 March 1963.)
The surfaces [of Longhurst's sculptures] generally have appealing sections with negative curvature ( saddle surfaces). This is a natural intuitive result of Longhurst's feeling for satisfying shape rather than a mathematically deduced result.
Mathematical Form 0009: Conic surface of revolution with constant negative curvature. x = a sinh v cos u; y = a sinh v sin u; z = ...
Conceptual Forms ( Hypotrochoid), 2004 Gelatin silver print
it is his bold enjoyment of its mathematical development of shapes - the lances as long slender cones, the receding grid of broken arms on the ground, the wonderfully three-dimensional horses, the armoured men as systems of solids extrapolated in space - that makes this such a Renaissance masterpiece.