Richard Kallweit


I read a description of the art process the other day that I rather liked. I found it in Hyperallergic, a Brooklyn based online art magazine. The writer observed that, perhaps, artists might work in two ways. One in which there was a need to constantly create and another to present some sort of artistic vision to the world. As I was trained as an artist, I use artistic methods to invent and discover in extra-artistic areas that interest me, (math/science/architecture). These include close observation, the use of diverse materials, long periods of meditation, playfulness and mucking around in the dark. John Horton Conway, Martin Gardner, Benoit Mandelbrot, Arthur C. Clarke and H.S.M.Coxeter, among others, are of great influence.

Great Dodecahedron with infinite regression surface star patterning.
10x10x10 inches
printed paper, glue, acrylic coating

I have been using the 72 degree parallelogram in countless configurations. If 30 convex pieces, scored lengthwise, are placed together you get this one polyhedron, if concave, a Triacontahedron. The surface pattern, one which I have long used, has great appeal. With this shape, an interior joining system and inexpensive printing, many pieces can be manufactured and countless mathematical forms realized.

In my art studio/workshop I use all manner old and new ideas, materials, patterns, detritus and so on. Music, books, (old and new), the internet, social networking are all in the mix. Various art and industrial processes enable me to complete my math/art structures.

Triacontahedron bifurcation
12x12 inches
acrylic paint on paper
1970 (with artist Clark Richert)

This piece was a collaboration for a mural. Sometimes Clark and I would work on projects as a team. Other times we would collaborate in a verbal or philosophical level. Who came up with an idea might be debatable: at this particular time, as always, there was a cross-current of ideas. Interestingly, this work was created in Albuquerque, NM. where Microsoft had headquartered.This was after the early disbanding of Drop City, an artists community.

There I was fortunate to meet Bill Hayes, a Microsoft mathematician still in the area. We spent some time together listening to Bach and having long conversations mostly in silence. He said what I needed to consider was the way things are joined. He helped me purchase the adobe house he rented.