We are pleased to present an exhibition of recent drawings by Mark Reynolds. Reynolds’ “…drawings are distinguished by the disjunctions between their soft-colored lines and sharp angles. Filled with surprises, his work disarmingly calls to mind that of Piero della Francesca, in its colors and deep perspectives, Paul Klee, in its musicality and lyricism, and Sol LeWitt, in its varying geometries.” (Barbara MacAdam, ARTnews)
Reynolds’ unpretentious process and modest media consist simply of drawing in pencil and ink on paper. The results are an explosion of linear inquiry and discovery of relationships. These relationships are based in geometry, which one might think would inhibit intuitive discovery. The relevance that Reynolds brings to this discussion is as an artist. In these recent drawings, he has focused on order in increasingly chaotic conditions, resulting in stunning analytical drawings.
“My drawings present a determined search for new levels of order. However, as is often the case in my work, when hostile environments are present in the form of competing geometric systems or from pushing the limits and boundaries of known geometric shapes and ratios, order may be jeopardized. Potential chaos or even disorder may lurk behind the next line that is drawn. When constructing grids of increasing complexity, the issues of order, chaos, and disorder become more relevant to the success or failure of the internal harmonics of the grid and the overall appearance of the drawing. Coupled with variations in line thicknesses, the physical limitations of drawing mediums, and irrational lengths (lengths that cannot be measured with a ruler) that exist in many geometric forms and systems, the effort necessary to keep the grid orderly becomes more demanding. Although the initial ratio can be managed in a fairly easy way to create an orderly space, as the grid grows in complexity, a state of chaotic relationships may possibly be generated, and may then pass into a complete state of chaos. Chaos can then lead to disorder in the details and eventual misalignments of the intersections and placement of lines. Any further development of the grid only serves to advance the disorderly state.
At times, chaos has hidden order within it. This sometimes becomes evident by changing one's perception of the space that the chaotic conditions appear to be in.
“The presence of geometry everywhere inspires me. Geometry and numbers are, among other things, ordering systems found throughout the universe. Grids are related to geometry and numbers, and are themselves ordering systems. They can bring order to a space by defining the structure and energy within the limits set by that space… I am an artist, not a mathematician, but I know that geometry is a bridge that can connect the two disciplines. For me, art and mathematics are two sides of a coin composed of geometry and numbers, and as such, geometry provides both the artist and mathematician with an elegant and beautiful system that offers solutions to questions of space and time, and a way to order like no other.” (Reynolds)
Mark Reynolds is an artist, geometrician, and educator. He holds Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in Art and Art Education from Towson University in Maryland. He received an Andelot Fellowship to the University of Delaware for post-graduate work in drawing and printmaking. Additionally, Reynolds taught courses in geometry and philosophical geometry to graduate and undergraduate classes at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco for over twenty years.