Artist Lecture Is at 6 pm on Feb 3 and Is Free and Open to the Public
“I will talk about my journey toward this new body of work that is currently on view at the Albany Museum of Art,” Mack said. “I will speak about past and present inspirations, and how they have converged to reveal a new phase in my artistic career.”
Visitors to the upstairs McCormack Gallery at the AMA, located at 311 Meadowlark Drive, will observe that Mack creates mathematically based renderings with a distinct post-modern twist. His works are informed with superimposed grids, patterns, and portals. Layered surfaces are created with paint, found objects, natural fibers, and synthetic substrates that explore the systems of our visual world.
“We at the AMA are so delighted to have Eric Mack’s work on exhibition, and even more pleased that he will be here to share insights into this important work,” Executive Director Andrew J. Wulf, Ph.D., said. “Transcending taxonomies of the natural world and traditional art media, Mack brings these universes of seemingly divergent realities into a harmonic whole, as seen in his work here at the museum.”
Mack, a Charleston, S.C., native, has immersed himself for the past four years into the study of nature, plant propagation and architectural design. As a mixed-media artist, he has explored the use of a variety of materials, such as architectural blueprints, mineral-derived pigments, peat-free soil, and natural fibers, recycled packing paper, natural dyes, synthetic ultraviolet shade screens, handmade paper, and seeds sourced from his home garden. This combination of materials represents a harmonic vision of seamlessly intertwined natural plant systems and geometric composition.
“The relationship to nature and art is based in pattern, rhythm, shape, form and composition,” he said. “These elements are integral to the work that I make, and they can be used to describe both nature and art.
"Divine Proportion, or The Golden Ratio, has been used throughout history in researching mathematics, science, nature, and architectural design. The interest in this philosophy has made this body of work possible.”
Ordo naturalis, which is on view through April 23, 2022, was inspired by Mack’s passion for botany and architectural design. The title of the exhibition is informed by the work of Carolus Linnaeus, who is usually regarded as the founder of modern taxonomy, and whose books are considered the beginning of modern botanical and zoological nomenclature.
Linnaeus drew up rules for assigning names to plants and animals and was the first to use binomial nomenclature consistently. Although he introduced the standard hierarchy of class, order, genus, and species, his main success in his own day was making it possible to identify plants and animals from his books.
Architectural design runs in parallel with symmetries found in plant structure and foliage design. The Linnaean naming system was designated for living organisms, but Mack has made connections between these and Divine Proportions used in science and mathematics, and architecture. Divine Proportions are a ratio that is also often referred to as Phi. It was named for Phidias, a Greek sculptor who lived around 490–430 B.C., because it was believed that he made deliberate and intricate use of the Divine Proportion in much of his work, including the Athena Parthenos in Athens. The Golden Ratio is prevalent in every aspect of our universe—from the natural growth pattern of the nautilus seashell to the pyramids of Egypt to the musical compositions of Mozart and Beethoven.
“I hope that the work sparks creative thought, evokes new ideas and perspectives, and inspires the viewer to look beyond the surface expectation,” Mack said.
There is no cost to attend Art & Nature. A link for free registration for the event can be found at www.albanymuseum.com/ordo-naturalis-eric-mack.
“There is no cost to attend, but we encourage those who plan to come to register so that we can have space set up to accommodate everyone,” AMA Director of Education and Public Programming Annie Vanoteghem said.
- The Way of Life, Works by Ray Pierotti is in the Haley Gallery Jan 20 -April 23, 2022.
- Prismatic, Works by Melissa Huang is in the East Gallery Jan 20 -April 23, 2022.
- Ordo naturalis, Works by Eric Mack is in the McCormack Gallery Jan 20 -April 23, 2022.
- African Artifacts of Spirituality and Identity is in the Hodges Gallery Jan 20 -April 23, 2022.
- Escape Plan, installation by Elinor Saragoussi, is in the West Gallery.