In contrast to other Shakespearean Equation paintings, which feature a single or a pair of mathematical models, Twelfth Night unites eight forms. Two additional “foreign” items—an ostrich egg and a phallic object—reference other Man Ray works. Like the love triangle and complex plot of the Shakespearean play evoked by the work’s title, this intricate gathering of many improbable objects suggests similarly complicated and overlapping relationships.
“Sugimoto’s sculptures in particular are a testimony of the intricate relationship between art and mathematics,” says Klaus Ottmann, curator of Hiroshi Sugimoto: Conceptual Forms and Mathematical Models. “Both art and mathematics deal with the unimaginable, the non-represent-able; in this case the notion of infinity.”
In a gallery adjacent to Man Ray–Human Equations: A Journey from Mathematics to Shakespeare, you’ll find photographs and sculptures by contemporary Japanese artist Hiroshi Sugimoto. His exhibition at the Phillips, Hiroshi Sugimoto: Conceptual Forms and Mathematical Models, is on view through May 10, 2015.
1) Sugimoto’s work on view at the Phillips is largely inspired by Marcel Duchamp, particularly the Dadaist’s obsession with the mechanics of space and the mathematical foundations of his work.
2) He is best known for his time-exposed photography. Among his most recognized works are his series Theatres, which are shot for the full length of each movie’s projection, and Seascapes, a series of horizon lines formed by bodies of water whose movements have been blurred into stillness by Sugimoto’s long exposures.
3) All of the sculptures on view in this exhibition are derived from infinity equations. As is apparent from his time-exposed photography, time and history are significant themes in Sugimoto’s work, ranging from human time to cosmological time. Each sculpture is to be thought of as infinitely expanding, just as the universe continues to expand from a point of singularity.
4) His sculptures are created using computer-controlled, precision milling machines, and are crafted from solid blocks of aluminum.