In her Formulas paintings, the artist brings together formulae used in mathematical equations (such as that for the atomic bomb) and those that “quantify” unnameable impulses—for example, our desire for...
In her Formulas paintings, the artist brings together formulae used in mathematical equations (such as that for the atomic bomb) and those that “quantify” unnameable impulses—for example, our desire for love and companionship based on components of lust, attraction and attachment. In bringing invented formulae to bear on inchoate forces, McClelland questions the mechanisms by which we exchange information through shared coded systems. After visiting Hiroshima the summer of 2019, the artist wondered at the huge gap between scientists’ ideas and their executions. Understanding a formula as a set of rules or instructions that we rely on for predictable behaviors, whether on the page or in the world at large, we may think of a formula functioning as a prescription. McClelland takes this idea further, and while a painting is neither formula nor prescription, she sees it as offering an example of the ways in which we might make use of them. Using these mathematical formulae as alternate forms of communication, the artist lets symbols and numbers emerge and dissolve on the surface as though they are visualized thoughts being conceived and forgotten simultaneously.
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