THE PERFECT MEASURE - The Golden Ratio in Contemporary Art



SAUGERTIES PERFORMING ARTS FACTORY, 169 Ulster Avenue, Saugerties, New York 12477

April 12 - May 10, 2014


On Saturday, April 12 and lasting four weeks, The Gallery at the Factory at the Saugerties Performing Arts Factory will host the exhibition The Perfect Measure: The Golden Ratio in Contemporary Art.

Curated by artist and writer Astrid Fitzgerald, the exhibition will include works by eleven artists selected from the collection of the Museum of the Golden Ratio - a virtual museum dedicated to collecting and preserving individual expressions in art of the myriad aspects of the Golden Ratio. What these artists all have in common is their love of geometric and mathematical principles, in particular the Golden Ratio, Platonic Solids and Fibonacci Numbers.

The Golden Ratio provides a design element that unifies entire compositions rendered in two or three dimensions. Artists, designers and architects have used the proportion in both overt and subtle ways to lend harmony and balance to a structure, painting or sculpture. Modern masters who gave expression to the principles of the Golden Ratio in their paintings include Mondrian, Kupka, Serusier, Seurat, and Mark Rothko.

Also called the Divine Proportion, the principle appears in sacred buildings from many cultures and traditions: the pyramids in Egypt, the Parthenon in Greece, the Taj Mahal in India. In more modern times, the Golden Mean has graced the proportions of Gothic cathedrals, Palladian villas and the works of 20th-century architects including Frank Lloyd Wright, Philip Johnson and Louis Kahn.

The Golden Ratio, represented by the Greek letter Phi (÷) after the Greek sculptor Phidias, is a unique and mysterious universal principle that seems to arise out of the basic structure of the cosmos. The ratio is found when a line is divided into two unequal parts so that the shorter part relates in length to the longer part as the longer part relates to the whole. Numerically, this relationship is expressed as 1: 1.6180339... or 1: ÷.

In addition to contemporary works of art, the exhibition offers educational exhibits showing architectural plans and analyses by Rachel Fletcher of architecture, flora and fauna.

The beautiful and accomplished work in this unique exhibition exemplifies a great diversity in the use of the Perfect Measure, from using it as a design tool to, what is referred to as sacred geometry, to mathematics and science. 


Participating artists

Lara Giordano - Luisa Sartori - David Stoltz - Laura Battle - Grace DeGennaro - Marion Drennen - John A. Hiigli - Astrid Fitzgerald - Martee Levi - Sue Simon - Vandorn Hinnant


Click here to see Opening and Installation shots

Click here to see Video of Exhibition


Schedule of Events

Saturday, April 19th, 2014 - 2 pm - Lecture: John Anthony West, Egyptologist

The Perfect Measure in Ancient Egypt and the foundations of Sacred Science

"Number, measure, proportion, geometry, harmony ... their interactions make up the Language of the Gods. The "gods" of ancient Egypt themselves are embodiments of Cosmic principles, not figments of primitive imagination as our Quackademic Community would have us believe. In this talk we will discuss the scientific/mathematical foundations of the "Sacred", show why it really is Sacred, and why it should matter to us today if we have any hope at all of extricating ourselves from the mess we've made of our world." - John West

Saturday, April 26th, 2014 - 2 pm - Workshop for children and adults: David Stoltz, Sculptor: Constructing Geometric 3-dimensional polygons

David Stoltz has conducted innumerable workshops for children of all ages. His constructions in a variety of metals and plastic are placed around the Hudson Valley and in playgrounds. No materials or skills in geometry or mathematics are required to build beautiful tetrahedrons and icosahedrons to take home.

Saturday, May 3, 2014 - 2 pm - PowerPoint Lecture: Geometric Influences on Palladian Architecture: Palladioís Villa Emo and Thomas Jeffersonís Rotunda at the University of Virginia by geometer Rachel Fletcher

In this talk, we discuss how these iconic buildings achieve dynamic unity among parts and whole through Golden Mean and other proportions.

4 pm - Infinite Measure Workshop by Rachel Fletcher.

Taking drawing compasses in hand, we learn simple geometric methods for composing harmonious spaces and places, then observe these proportions in world-famous art, architecture, interior and landscape designs. (Limited to 15-20 participants)