Rus Articles Journal

Moritz Cornelis Asher. Whether the geometry can be art? Part 2

In the mathematician - the poor student, in art - a cracker?

“It is too speculative

, too filosofichen; rushes and the spontaneous movements are not inherent in this young man, he is an artist in very insignificant degree“.
(Report of one of Asher`s teachers) of

“... It shows absolutely new attitudes between the points, surfaces and space, between cause and effect arising in its engravings though strange, but, apparently, quite possible worlds“.
(A. Flokoi)

Me since the childhood entered into bewilderment widespread opposition of reason and feelings, imaginations and realities, sciences and arts, “physicists“ and “lyric poets“. What opposition can be if all this not only easily got on in my head, but also interacted, feeding each other? The birth of the child seemed to me not by a smaller miracle, than circulation on water, and mathematical and physical theories were a time more fancifully than the most sophisticated imagination.

However, not everyone so considered. Even Asher`s father-in-law with narrow-minded complacency joked that at a zyatk best of all drawings of warehouse turn out. Near the father-in-law also professional critics left. Strict and speculative works of Asher were accused by art critics of dryness, a proschitannost and excessive intellectuality. Amazingly, but in the majority of art catalogs and works on painting history creativity of this geometrical genius is still ignored!

Cornelius Van Shaak Roosevelt:
“Charles Snow noted really strange fact that art of the 20th century so acquired achievements of science of the 20th century a little. This supervision gave it one more proof that our civilization broke up to two various cultures. The same as before Leonardo da Vinci, Asher tries to reduce in the special way this gap, and in it probably the main reason of its popularity not only among young people, but also and among quite already mature scientists and engineers. And when the critic with irritation declares that he does not put in anything Asher, he can remind the signature under one amusing caricature: “All of them go there! It would be necessary to hurry also to me as I am their leader“.

M. K. Asher: “I often would feel by
about lshy proximity to mathematics, than to colleagues - to artists.... I played, expressing myself in the images considering possibilities of representation. Everything that is in my pictures, - messages on my opening... All my works are games. Serious games. I just try to put little animals together - I do not find that it is easy, but I derive improbable pleasure, finding a way to connect them. I am amused by all questions which arise when I work. These questions tease me, and my greatest pleasure is to understand about what they, and then to find answers to them. Then I do a print that others could share my pleasure. You call it mathematics?“.
Should note

that Asher never also rejected intellectuality of the creativity. Nevertheless, the artist was constantly compared to surrealists, looked for mystical sense, and youth of 1960 in his works - x in general made them a banner of “psychodelic“ culture. All this unhealthy agiotage fairly irritated Asher. Musicians of ROLLING STONES even wanted to place one of the artist`s engravings on a plate cover, but that - music did not test love to bottoms and flatly refused to them.

M. K. Asher:
“Once to me was called by one lady: “Mister Asher, I am fascinated by your art. In your “Reptiles“ reincarnation is presented“. I answered: “Madam, if you see it, let it will be so“.

Asher declared more than once that he has no relation to surrealism, its task not to ask unsoluble riddles, and to solve them. And it is valid, even in the most fancy pictures of the artist there are the logic and harmony. The logic is art too.

Therefore it is not surprising that bypassed by art critics, Asher`s pictures with admiration were accepted in mathematical circles. The mathematics always stood independently from others - “natural“ - sciences because, as well as the philosophy, dealt with ideal and abstract categories (you remember an inscription on doors of platonovsky Academy - “Negeometr yes will not enter here“). Well tell where you saw in life the REGULAR polygon, the REAL point (the object which does not have the sizes), or the bent three-dimensional space?

The world glory of the Dutch began in 1951 after the publication of its works in three magazines: “Time“, “Life“ and “Studio“. And in 1954 Asher`s exhibition was dated for the International mathematical congress. The Nobel laureate Chong Ning Yang by means of an engraving “Rider“ even tried to explain the principle of symmetry in quantum mechanics. Such love of mathematicians and physicists very puzzled Asher as he considered himself in these sciences as the full layman. When geometr G. Coxeter invited the artist to the lecture about deep mathematical meaning of esherovsky drawings, that admitted that he almost in it understood nothing...

M. K. Asher:
“I so never also could receive a good mark on mathematics. It is amusing that I unexpectedly was connected with this science. Believe, at school I was very bad pupil. And now mathematicians use my drawings for an illustration of the books. Imagine, these scientific people admit me to the company as the lost and again found brother! They, apparently, do not suspect that mathematically I am absolutely illiterate“.
Asher`s Glory grew at

as a snowball. He receives a royal award, he is devoted in knights, in 1971 there is a book “Asher`s World“... But the glory and money practically do not change neither character of the artist, nor its, more than modest, a way of life. He still lives the hermit in the Dutch town of Baarn. In 1968 his wife leaves unloved Holland and comes back to Switzerland. But the artist is already old and sick, he almost with anybody does not communicate, and he is waited by only one travel...
the Last vision shown to the world became the picture “Snakes“ (1969). In 1972 in one of Lutheran hospitals Moritz Cornelis Asher`s spirit leaves our evklidovy world and disappears in the most incomprehensible infinity.

P. S.: Everything become interested I strongly recommend to read the first comment to this article.