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Art and Life are the Same
I had a wonderful six months living with a student of St. John's College in Santa Fe. The curriculum of this unique institution is purely of the classic Western canon of philosophy, mathematics, and literature. I was reminded of this when I read through The Geometry of Life because it addresses this vast world of mystery as understood before computers. Author Matila Ghyka is an often-quoted expert on the subject on the subject area, particularly for recognizing the Golden Section in the world around us.
The Geometry of Art and Life is a genuine math book that is valuable for all sorts of thinkers, artists included. In the popular Dover reprint that I read, almost half of the 174-page book is dedicated to illustrative plates. Roughly a third of the book is full with formulas, equations, and tables that are easy to understand if you have been taught algebra and geometry.
With respect to the "geometry of life", the book addresses the prevalence of such mathematical patterns in biological phenomena, but is one generation before the discovery of fractal dimension and non-linear self-similarity. The most significant portion of the "geometry of art" addresses the use of proportional canons in classical and gothic architecture, as rediscovered by modern scholars. Although you will learn more in The Painter's Secret Geometry, this book also details the conscious and unconscious applications of "symphonic symmetry" in art.
All in all, this a book I shall not forget! It will change the way you see life and art, most definitely.
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