Higher Mathematics Meets High Culture

Marcus du Sautoy is a mathematician known for bringing an appreciation of mathematics to the masses. He’s done many television programs, popular mathematics books, theater productions and musical performances. He has an exhilarating new series of radio essays about artists who he represents as secret mathematicians. This superb series is available for a short time on the BBC radio site here.

I find it frustrating to listen to a radio show or read an article about visual art without having images of the referenced works. To alleviate that and augment your appreciation of the visual art segments here’s an image supplement for The Secret Mathematician episode 2 : Art.  In this episode, du Sautoy spotlights the work of Anish Kapoor, Jackson Pollock and Salvador Dali. Happy listening and scrolling!

See also the collection of images for the architecture episode featuring Zaha Hadid here. The series also features mathematics in literature and music and an episode that explores the arts’ influence on mathematicians.

(0:10) Anish Kapoor (source)

(0:10) Anish Kapoor (source)

(0:25) ArcelorMittal Orbit (source)

(0:25) ArcelorMittal Orbit (source)

(1:40) Anish Kapoor's 1000 Names (source)

(1:40) Anish Kapoor’s “1000 Names” (source)

(3:35) "Pacioli" by Attributed to Jacopo de' Barbari (source)

(3:35) “Pacioli” by Attributed to Jacopo de’ Barbari (source)

(4:40) 2-dimensional representation of the Platonic solids (source)

(4:40) 2-dimensional representation of the Platonic solids (source)

(4:35) Sample of Archimedian solids (source)

(4:35) Archimedian solids (source)

(6:50) Dali's "Crucifixion (Corpus Hypercubus) (source)

(6:50) Dali’s “Crucifixion (Corpus Hypercubus) (source)

(8:15) Pollacks' "Convergence" Image property of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY. (source)

(8:15) Pollacks’ “Convergence” Image property of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY. (source)

(9:13) Closeup detail of Pollock's "Convergence" (source)

(9:13) Closeup detail of Pollock’s “Convergence” Albright-Knox Art Gallery Buffalo, NY (source)

Here’s a link to a video with Marcus du Sautoy discussing the fractal quality of Pollock’s paintings.

(12:25) Kapoor's "Tall Tree and the Eye" 2009 (source)

(12:25) Kapoor’s “Tall Tree and the Eye” 2009 (source)

(13:00)  Google Image search for Anish Kapoor’s mirror sculptures.

What a great series of essays! Marcus du Sautoy does an exemplary job of promoting higher mathematics by demonstrating its influence on high culture.


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