artnet Asks: Artist Joan Waltemath and the Secret Beauty in Math

men/many (East 2 1,2,3,5,8…). 2014-16. Oil, aluminum, bronze, interference, glimmer, phosphorescent and florescent pigment on honeycomb aluminum panel. 39 1/4" x 18 5/8"

Opening April 5 at Anita Rogers Gallery, “Fecund Algorithms” is the latest solo exhibition by Joan Waltemath. Grappling with the complex and often contradictory relationships between the body and mind, the artist’s abstract paintings look to mathematical equations for their harmonious and inventive grid-based compositions.

Waltemath is not only an artist, however: She is also known as an influential educator and a writer, having taught architecture for years at Cooper Union and serving as editor-at-large for the esteemed Brooklyn Rail since 2001. Here, she discusses her new work, the beauty in mathematics, and what to expect at her show.

What inspired you to create the Torso/Roots series?
I am intrigued watching people perform tasks they know by heart, observing movements that seem to stem from the corporeal, rather than being directed by the mind. I want to create something that speaks directly to the body that touches our movement in the way architecture does.  The more all our devices assert their dominance over the mode of our communications, the more compelled I feel to explore the multi-faceted nature of perception. How the body knows things, remembers a thing is my tabula rasa.