Lisa Kattchee and Karl Kattchee

Artist and Mathematician
Coralville, IA and La Crosse, WI

This brother/sister collaboration is based on the premise that mathematics and art are inseparable and they interact on many levels.

One Poppy
One Poppy
50 x 40 cm
acrylic on canvas with charcoal and poppy seeds

The central form in this painting is a combinatorial poppy in the sense of Karl Kattchee's print "45 Poppies" which comprises a classification of all poppies on a 6x6 grid. A poppy is a closed orthogonal path on the grid which proceeds around the center and uses each row and column exactly once.

On a 10x10 grid, there are 5180070 asymmetrical poppies, and one of them is depicted here.

In the finished painting Lisa Kattchee retained the original grid marks through the use of layers of clear glazes. Other areas are worked up with high texture and rich color through impasto and glazing techniques. The negative space has a life of its own, the scale is ambiguous, and the directness of the mathematical concept is retained.