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Fractals and Pollock


From: Sears, Ellen (ESears_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Fri Oct 05 2001 - 05:44:21 PDT

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
scanned some
                     Pollocks into a computer and analyzed them. The computer
confirmed their
                     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
about using
                     his analysis to authenticate disputed Pollocks. And
Taylor sees new
                     meaning in Pollock's notoriously abstract drip
technique. "It was
                     representing nature," he says.