Homages to Geraldo de Barross

John Hiigli
Proceedings of Bridges 2014: Mathematics, Music, Art, Architecture, Culture (2014)
Pages 393–396


In the vanguard of Brazilian art, Geraldo de Barros (1923-1998) was a painter, photographer and designer as well. His work was a precursor to concrete art. De Barros was also a pioneer in abstract photography. I happened upon his painting “Diagonal Function” (1952), where he cut out ¼ of a black square and found it quite elegant and worthy of further investigation. Here I present some of the possibilities for symmetry transformations and color dispersal in simple geometric systems. The regular interval of scale change juxtaposed with an asymmetrical arrangement of three ¾ squares of exponentially diminishing edge length results in a kind of inverse, fractal-like design that leads, at least in theory, to infinity.