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Viewpoints: Mathematical Perspective and Fractal Geometry in Art [Hardcover]

Marc Frantz , Annalisa Crannell

Price: 32.95 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

25 July 2011 0691125929 978-0691125923

An undergraduate textbook devoted exclusively to relationships between mathematics and art, Viewpoints is ideally suited for math-for-liberal-arts courses and mathematics courses for fine arts majors. The textbook contains a wide variety of classroom-tested activities and problems, a series of essays by contemporary artists written especially for the book, and a plethora of pedagogical and learning opportunities for instructors and students.

Viewpoints focuses on two mathematical areas: perspective related to drawing man-made forms and fractal geometry related to drawing natural forms. Investigating facets of the three-dimensional world in order to understand mathematical concepts behind the art, the textbook explores art topics including comic, anamorphic, and classical art, as well as photography, while presenting such mathematical ideas as proportion, ratio, self-similarity, exponents, and logarithms. Straightforward problems and rewarding solutions empower students to make accurate, sophisticated drawings. Personal essays and short biographies by contemporary artists are interspersed between chapters and are accompanied by images of their work. These fine artists--who include mathematicians and scientists--examine how mathematics influences their art. Accessible to students of all levels, Viewpoints encourages experimentation and collaboration, and captures the essence of artistic and mathematical creation and discovery.

  • Classroom-tested activities and problem solving
  • Accessible problems that move beyond regular art school curriculum
  • Multiple solutions of varying difficulty and applicability
  • Appropriate for students of all mathematics and art levels
  • Original and exclusive essays by contemporary artists
  • Forthcoming: Instructor's manual (available only to teachers)

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"The book goes a long way trying to convey to its audience--through both theory and practice--professional techniques that could not fail but empower students to make accurate, sophisticated drawings. The book presents an elegant fusion of mathematical ideas and practical aspects of fine art."--Cut the Knot

"[T]his is an excellent text that I will certainly consider using for a future class. The material on perspective is accessible, thorough and well-written, and the text is designed for a hands-on pedagogy that is well-suited to the intended audience. And as an elementary, but thorough, discussion of both the mathematics and practice of perspective drawing, it deserves a place in any collection of books on mathematics and the arts."--Blake Mellor, Journal of Mathematics and the Arts

"The writing is extremely clear, the material is fresh, and the many excellent diagrams clarify the ideas under discussion. The authors use relevant artwork to illustrate the mathematical principles. . . . The exercises are original and promote active learning. . . . This is an excellent work for academic curricula and an outstanding resource for self-study in mathematical perspective, fractals, and the relationship between art and mathematics."--Choice

"This is not a book to read passively and, indeed, you will want to read this book with a pencil in hand. The text is designed to be experienced first hand, sketching out examples whilst following the text, as well as doing the exercises at the end of each chapter that develop the material well. . . . Prerequisites for this book are a minimum, effectively being an understanding of basic coordinate geometry. I would recommend this book to anyone who is interested in the interplay between mathematics and art."--George Matthews, Mathematics Today

From the Inside Flap

"This practical, hands-on, and significant book makes clear the connections between mathematics and art, and demonstrates why artists need to know mathematics. Viewpoints appeals to students' visual intuition and engages their imaginations in a fresh way."--Barbara E. Reynolds, SDS, coauthor of College Geometry: Using the Geometer's Sketchpad

"This entire book is a thing of beauty: the mathematics, the visual art, the writing, the exercises, and the organization. The authors' passion and excitement for their subject matter is apparent on every page. I am in awe."--Robert Bosch, Oberlin College

"The book's emphasis on a workshop approach is good and the authors offer rich insights and teaching tips. The inclusion of work by contemporary artists--and the discussion of the mathematics related to their work--is excellent. This will be a useful addition to the sparse literature on mathematics and art that is currently available for classroom use."--Doris Schattschneider, author of M. C. Escher: Visions of Symmetry

"Concentrating on perspective and fractal geometry's relationship to art, this well-organized book is distinct from others on the market. The mathematics is not sold to art students as an academic exercise, but as a practical solution to problems they encounter in their own artistic projects. I have no doubt there will be strong interest in this book."--Richard Taylor, University of Oregon

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.3 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars challenging 13 Feb 2013
By Proteus - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I have to admit, this book is pretty challenging. There is a ton of geometry math that is used to describe the mathematical aspects of perspective. But it is a face, it increased my understanding of perspective. It is not an easy book to get through, and frankly I probably only understood about 20% of it, but that 20% was useful, and some day I will probably go back and actually try to do the exercises.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent textbook on the mathematics of Perspective 5 Sep 2011
By Ed Pegg - Published on
At the start of the book, students are looking at normal hallways, rooms, and buildings through sheets of plexiglas, and tracing the outlines of what they see with drafting tape. From there, it's easy to see the concept of vanishing points.

A few pages later, an image from Jurassic Park with a velociraptor walking towards Sam Neill is shown. As an exercise, the students must compare the position of a clawtip to the bottom of a doorframe. I've messed up this issue of image placement many times, so this simple exercise brought home a lesson for me.

Interspersed are artist vignettes with Sherry Stone, Peter Galante, Jim Rose, Robert Bosch, Dick Termes, Teri Wagner, and Kerry Mitchell, each discussing and detailing a particularly useful mathematical technique in art.

The core part of the book is 1, 2, and 3 point perspective, but with the idea that you'll be using a modern program of some sort. Then they introduce fractal geometry in a way I didn't expect, by taking a picture of a patch of grass and a small rock, and photopasting in a toy gnu and a climber. Small rocks look like big rocks look like mountains. I knew that, but I hadn't been tricked by it before, so I got the lesson better this time.

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good information 20 July 2013
By Genita Cartwright - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is a very specialized book, and after looking at it I have created a wonderful sculpture that we sold to a local hospital. Very fine information.
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