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The human equation

Retrospective show brings warmth to a calculated motif

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In a book accompanying this show, Robbin is quoted as saying that the goal of the artist using mathematical models to create art should not be to “merely illustrate them.”

“The goal is to see the higher-dimensional space,” he said, “to get the feeling of being inside them and to revel in their liberating possibilities.”

Which, perhaps, is why this show reminded me of my father sitting at our kitchen table as a middle-aged man, drawing out his plans. He was neither an artist nor a mathematician, but he was trying to do, in his own way, what Robbin has been doing for much of his career: trying to see inside a space he could only imagine, a place he’d probably never get to visit in person but that he’d visit frequently in his head.

And that’s why this show, as geometric and calculated and modern as it may appear, is such a success on a human scale. After all, who doesn’t fantasize about being inside some dream space, some alternate reality, where you can look off into infinity and see nothing but possibilities?

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