Owen Schuh


My work explores the possibilities of mimicking the natural world through a set of visual expressions of mathematical models. The questions that most interest me revolve around the relationships between language and perception, nature and artifice, and logic and form. Rather than working from nature toward an abstract representation of it, I work toward nature from the abstract concept of “pure” math. The work employs a variety of different geometric and mathematical rules, which, though relatively simple in nature, yield surprising organic complexity. They determine the growth and rate of change by individual “cells” (drips of paint, circles or geometric shapes, etc.) in relation to each other and their environments. Counter-intuitively, the constraint of the rules frees me to explore new forms and images impossible to achieve through my artistic instinct alone.

In each piece, I attempt to arrive at a unique configuration of formal and physical elements. The properties of the materials used dramatically change the final form of the paintings. The color, the viscosity of the paint, and method of application allow for the manifestation of phenomena unique to the interaction between the medium and the logical structure. As opposed to a single fixed model, these works imply the possibility of multiple rational viewpoints of the natural world.