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Beyond Measure: Conversations across art and science

5 April - 1 June 2008

This exhibition – with its associated workshops, talks and events – explored how geometry is used by artists and astronomers, bio-chemists, engineers, surgeons, architects, physicists and mathematicians, among many others, as a means to understand, explain and order the world around us. It drew parallels between the artist’s studio, the laboratory and the study as equivalent places for thinking, imagining and creating.

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Geometry takes us from an understanding of specific places to grappling with multi-dimensional spaces beyond our immediate experience. The word itself means to measure the earth. For Plato and Euclid, geometry was solid, fundamental and even sacred. Today geometry operates with uncertainties, fluid boundaries and variable parameters – addressing questions that, phrased slightly differently, artists have also concerned themselves with for centuries.

The over sixty contributors to this exhibition included artists Richard Deacon, Felix Gonzales-Torres, Robert Morris, David Nash, Keith Tyson and Conrad Shawcross. The exhibition also featured Sir Christopher Wren’s dividers, virus-structure models produced by the Nobel winning biophysicist Professor Sir Aaron Klug, the conic ellipses of astronomer Robin Catchpole, and Professor Sir Roger Penrose’s geometrical explorations of the mathematical foundations of the universe.

Curated by Barry Phipps, Kettle’s Yard’s first Interdisciplinary Fellow, this exhibition was a follow-up to the highly successful ‘Lines of Enquiry’.

The exhibition was supported by The Henry Moore Foundation.


Mr Tariq Ahmad ~ Nader Ahriman ~ Paul Appleton ~ Dr Francis Archer~ ARUP Advanced Geometry Unit ~ Miguel de Beistegui ~ Alan Bennett ~ Dr Jim Bennet ~ Dr Christoph Bergemann ~ Prof. Sir Tom Blundell ~ Jeff Bryant ~ Dr Robin Catchpole ~ Cavendish Laboratory Museum ~ Eduardo Chillida ~ Tony Crowther ~ Krysten Cunningham ~ DavidDavid ~ Richard Deacon ~ Tom Dixon ~ Foster + Partners Smart Modelling Group ~ Dr Phil Gaskell ~ Prof. Gerry Gilmore ~ Felix Gonzalez-Torres ~ Guillermo Gregorio ~ Dr Peter Grindrod ~ Simon Guest ~ Richard Hamilton ~ Dr Karl Harrison ~ Helen Hignell ~ Eva Hild ~ Prof. Martin Hyland ~ Prof. Sir Aaron Klug ~ Dr Kevin Knowles ~ Langlands & Bell ~ Steve Laurie ~ Bob Law ~ George Henry Longly ~ Dr Alan Mackay ~ Kenneth Martin ~ Josiah McElheny ~ Allan McRobie ~ Alex Moulton Bicycles ~ Robert Morris ~ Sarah Morris ~ MSOE Center for BioMolecular Modeling ~ Museum of the History of Science ~ David Nash ~ Carsten Nicolai ~ Prof. John Parker ~ Eric Parry ~ Prof. Sir Roger Penrose ~ Peter Peri ~ John Pickering ~ Dr Richard Preece ~ Dr Gareth Rees ~ The Royal Society ~ Shoji Sadao ~ Prof. Simon Schaffer ~ The Science Museum ~ Sedgwick Museum of Earth Sciences ~ Conrad Shawcross ~ ~ Dr Daina Taimina ~ Keith Tyson ~ University of Cambridge Botanic Gardens ~ Dr Tennie Videler ~ Father Magnus Wenninger ~ Whipple Museum of the History and Philosophy of Science