American Artist & Math Whiz Nelson Saiers To Open "The Second Part of 1"

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Former Hedge Fund Manager To Launch Second Show on the Heels of a π (Pi) Day Preview Alongside Acclaimed Graffiti Artist Retna.

"Exclude Exclude" by Nelson Saiers

“The frequent use of flat circular spots points to the nature of infinity in our world, a quest for truth in the shadows of simplicity, and the prevalence of humanity's blindness to societal issues.”

Nelson Saiers—artist, math whiz, polymath, and former hedge fund manager—is opening his second show, the Second Part of 1, at Hoerle-Guggenheim Gallery, from April 1 to April 19, 2015. There will be an opening reception for the artist on Wednesday, April 1 from 6 to 8 pm. Hoerle-Guggenheim Gallery is located at 527 West 23rd Street in Chelsea.

His first show, Blindfolded in Gravity's Shadow, attracted national attention for its novel visualizations of Braille, its bold use of color and shape to explore the world through a visual math, and the sheer intellectual firepower driving the conceptual artwork. Saiers employs his deep knowledge of math and physics to more fully address and opine on the deepest issues and mysteries of life by creating visually striking and thought-provoking pieces of art. His pieces explored social and ethical issues sparked by his childhood experiences around the world (including his first-hand experience with war and disease in Afghanistan, Ethiopia, and Sub-Saharan Africa), the mathematical spheres of topology and geometry, and still life within the framework of physics.

This show, The Second Part of 1, will extend his exploration of the world through his unique lens. His social justice conversation will focus on the achievements of women in math and the importance of peace; his continued exploration of geometry and topology will use a retrospective approach to capture the concurrent simplicity and abstraction; and his fascination with still life will explore new physics experiments with surprising results.

Braille markings continue to make up the central vocabulary of his work. According to the artist, “The frequent use of flat circular spots points to the nature of infinity in our world, a quest for truth in the shadows of simplicity, and the prevalence of humanity's blindness to societal issues.”

Two of the pieces, in particular, pose stark societal questions. "Exclude Exclude" pays homage to French mathematician Sophie Germain, who, despite her significant contributions to Fermat's Last Theorem, was inexplicably excluded from the Eiffel Tower monument honoring famous French scientists. The piece uses thumbtacks to create a field of dots, with the prime numbers that bear her name being highlighted. The word "exclude" is written in Braille in the midst of the prime dots, to show that we must exclude exclusion to see mathematical beauty and, by analogy, that mathematical truth will be clearer if we remove barriers for women in the field. The colors and size of the elements in the piece are derived from Pythagoras’ work, which was one of the motivations for Fermat’s Last Theorem.

"Pinup" incorporates painted pieces of calendar and thumb tacks to draw attention to women in math and science. By challenging the physical view of a beautiful woman with Maria Agnesi, a woman who was both very mathematically talented and deeply charitable, the piece highlights her pioneering work on calculus, notably her magnum opus, Analytical Institutions, which is considered to be the first book on differential and integral calculus. A field of Braille marks spells the title of the book and hints at some of its content including contributions by Leonhard Euler.

In a more humorous moment, Saiers offers "Madame Cezanne and the Making of a Still Life", in which he employs the force of gravity to create a still life in the most contradictory way. By cutting an elevator cable, the elevator falls with accelerated motion, but the objects on the roof of the elevator don't move from the perspective of the elevator. The pause, within this frame of reference, includes even the sand in an hourglass, solidifying this still life. Many aspects of Cezanne's painting including the roll of his wife, his process, and his use of perspective are also embraced within this piece.

Melding playfulness with technical concepts, all accessible through explosions of shape, form, and color, Saiers' artwork challenges the viewer to discover complex math and gives the option to embrace the historical context and philosophy that surround it or to charge into its abstract and theoretical nature. His use of mathematics delivers an impressive minimalism that is specific and offers a solution, all within the framework of profound abstraction.

The Second Part of 1 opens on April 1, 2015 at Hoerle-Guggenheim Gallery, 527 West 23rd Street in New York City.

About Nelson Saiers: Nelson Saiers is an artist based in New York City. Saiers previously worked in finance, where he managed a hedge fund. He earned his PhD in Mathematics from the University of Virginia at the age of 23. Saiers lived through wars in Ethiopia and Afghanistan and uses his math-based art to draw attention to social issues around the world. For more on his artwork, visit http://www.nelsonsaiers.com.

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