Christopher Bartlett

Professor of Art
Art Department, Towson University
Baltimore, MD

Bartlett’s Chi ratio is a term coined from Dirk Huylebrouck‘s presentation at Bridges Seoul of my discovery of this unique proportion which is related to the golden ratio.

My meta-golden Chi rectangle has an aspect ratio of 1+√(4phi+5))/(2phi) = 1: 1.355… While a golden ratio rectangle can be divided into a golden ratio rectangle and a square, the Chi rectangle is new discovery in that it can be divided into a golden ratio rectangle and another Chi rectangle.

My paintings follow that successive division for the dominant horizontals and verticals in the composition.This geometrical underpinning provides the necessary coherence of the visual design through repetition of varied but visually unified areas.

Venice Palace
54 x 40 cm.
Acrylic on canvas

The chi ratio rectangle has generative properties such that it can be successively divided into phi and chi rectangles and squares.

This chi rectangle composition is divided into a horizontal phi rectangle by the contrasting dark shadow under the balconies that at the left vertical edge of the golden-yellow colored palace creates a square and leaves a phi rectangle. The remaining rectangle at the bottom is another chi proportioned rectangle and is further divided by the left vertical piling into chi and phi rectangles, while the latter is divided by the roof of the water taxi into a phi rectangle and a square.

Grand Canal, Venice
54 x 40 cm.
Acrylic on canvas

The 1.355… Chi proportions define the interior geometric design where the main horizontal aesthetic division gives a golden ratio rectangle at the base and a 1.355… rectangle at the top. A visually dominant vertical divides that upper rectangle again into another similar rectangle and a golden ratio rectangle, and so on.