the article below was in Discover magazine in 1999, I just received my new
issue of discover (must be Nov) yesterday and there is another article about
Taylor and his study of with Pollock's work.
News of science, technology, and medicine
Painting by Numbers
Fractals, geometric patterns that repeat themselves at
smaller and smaller
scales, turn up everywhere in nature--in lightning,
coastlines, and clouds.
Now a physicist at the University of New South Wales has
found them in
a decidedly artificial setting: the famed drip paintings
of Jackson Pollock.
While gazing at a Pollock one day, Richard Taylor was
struck by its
resemblance to the fractals he had been studying. So he
Pollocks into a computer and analyzed them. The computer
fractal nature and calculated the fractal dimension, a
number describing the
richness of the underlying pattern.
Taylor found that the dimension of Pollock's art
steadily rose from 1.0 in
1943 to 1.72 in 1952. That trend is so distinctive that
a conservator at the
Museum of Modern Art in New York City approached Taylor
his analysis to authenticate disputed Pollocks. And
Taylor sees new
meaning in Pollock's notoriously abstract drip
technique. "It was
representing nature," he says.