The Fourth Dimension and Non-euclidean Geometry in Modern Art

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  • Edition: Revised
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2013-02-15
  • Publisher: Mit Pr
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In this groundbreaking study, first published in 1983 and unavailable for over adecade, Linda Dalrymple Henderson demonstrates that two concepts of space beyond immediateperception -- the curved spaces of non-Euclidean geometry and, most important, a higher, fourthdimension of space -- were central to the development of modern art. The possibility of a spatialfourth dimension suggested that our world might be merely a shadow or section of a higherdimensional existence. That iconoclastic idea encouraged radical innovation by a variety of earlytwentieth-century artists, ranging from French Cubists, Italian Futurists, and Marcel Duchamp, toMax Weber, Kazimir Malevich, and the artists of De Stijl and Surrealism. In anextensive new Reintroduction, Henderson surveys the impact of interest in higher dimensions of spacein art and culture from the 1950s to 2000. Although largely eclipsed by relativity theory beginningin the 1920s, the spatial fourth dimension experienced a resurgence during the later 1950s and1960s. In a remarkable turn of events, it has returned as an important theme in contemporary culturein the wake of the emergence in the 1980s of both string theory in physics (with its ten- oreleven-dimensional universes) and computer graphics. Henderson demonstrates the importance of thisnew conception of space for figures ranging from Buckminster Fuller, Robert Smithson, and the ParkPlace Gallery group in the 1960s to Tony Robbin and digital architect Marcos Novak.

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