Artwork Donated to BIRS: "Sierpinski Meets Mondrian"

Posted on Tue, May 10 2011 11:48:00

Artist and mathematician Gerda de Vries, of Edmonton, Alberta, has graciously donated one of her works for the enjoyment of visitors to BIRS: "Sierpinski Meets Mondrian".

Sierpinski Meets Mondrian

Sierpinski Meets Mondrian is named after the Polish mathematician Waclaw Sierpinski (1882-1969). The Sierpinski Carpet is a well-known example of a fractal, a geometric object that is self-similar at all scales, obtained from the regular application of a simple construction rule. Sierpinski was a contemporary of Piet Mondrian (1872-1944), a Dutch abstract painter. Through his art, Mondrian tried to express the simplest regularities of the mind and the world. Mondrian's last paintings consisted of nothing more than horizontal and vertical lines and rectangles, with their colours limited to black, white, and gray, and the primary colours red, blue, and yellow. While making this quilt, I often wondered about the art that Mondrian might have created had he met Sierpinksi, or known of his work.