Exhibition by Rinus Roelofs (NL), mathematical artist

Curated by Kristóf Fenyvesi (University of Jyväskylä – Experience Workshop)
in the framework of Bridges Finland 2016: University of Jyväskylä

Venue: Keski-Suomen luontomuseo (Art Gallery of Central-Finland’s Natural History Museum)
Address: Jyväskylä, Vesilinna, Ihantolantie 5.
Opening time: 9-12 August, 2016, 11.00-18.00
Meet the artist, Rinus Roelofs at the exhibit: 10 August, 2016, 19.00

Free entrance!

The main subject of Roelofs’s art is his fascination with mathematics. And to be more precise: his fascination with mathematical structures. Mathematical structures can be found all around us. We can see them everywhere in our daily lives. These structures as visual decoration are that common, that we don’t even see this as mathematics. But studying the properties of these structures and especially the relation between the different structures can lead to questions. Questions that can be the start of interesting artistic explorations! Artistic explorations can bring us to intriguing designs of sculptural objects, which are then made from all kinds of materials. Since Roelofs use the computer as his sketchbook, these ideas come to reality first as a picture on the screen. From there he can decide what the next step towards physical realization will be. A rendered picture, an animation or a 3D physical model made by the use of CNC-milling, laser cutting or rapid prototyping. But most of the time the first physical model is a paper model, simply cut out, folded and assembled together:

In geometry, polyhedra deserve a special attention. Once you have the first models of the Platonic and the Archimedean solids, you are inspired and motivated to come up with ideas about variations on these models. The breathtakingly beautiful paper-sculptures of the Elevations & Stellations series introduced at this exhibition are inspired by Leonardo Da Vinci’s illustrations to ‘De divina proportione’ (1509), the famous book from Luca Pacioli, where the geometrical operation called “elevation” was first described. About a century after Leonardo and Pacioli, another interesting operation, “stellation” was defined by Johannes Kepler:

As all thinking and creation starts with the amazement, Roelofs invites you to come and try to understand what you see. Solving problems and answering questions often leads to new ideas, new designs. And then new structures to understand are ahead:

Rinus Roelofs was born in 1954. After studying Applied Mathematics at the Technical University of Enschede, he took a degree from the Enschede Art Academy with a specialization in sculpture. His commissions come largely from municipalities, institutions and companies in the Netherlands, but his work has been exhibited further afield, including in Rome as part of the Escher Centennial celebrations in 1998. Since 2003 he has been a presenter at the annual Bridges conference, a conference on connections between art and mathematics.

Educational co-ordination of the exhibit is provided by