Painting - Square Root of Pi

Painting - Square Root of Pi

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Description
This oil painting is an original construction of Crockett Johnson. Since there are no notes on this construction, there is no way to tell what, if any, geometrical statement Johnson was representing in this painting. It may be the case that he merely thought of a more artistic way to portray the rectangles with area the square root of pi that appear in notes used for another painting, “Pi Squared and its Square Root” (1979.1093.54).
This painting has at its center a circle with center O and area pi. Also in the painting there are two rectangles, each of area the square root of pi, that share a diagonal that is the diameter of the circle with one end at point E. The purple rectangle in the painting has sides CE and EX and the white rectangle has sides DE and EF. The square in the painting is congruent to the square BDXA so it also has area pi, but it has been translated so its center is the same as the center of the circle, i.e. at O.
This is one of two paintings in the collection with this same title referring to the area the rectangles shown in the paintings. The geometry of the two is identical (see painting #100 - 1979.1093.67) but the dimensions and colors are different. The method of the color scheme of this painting, #89 in the series, is similar to painting #100 because, like the electric blue rectangle in the other painting, the white color of the rectangle against the purple background creates a dramatic contrast that highlights a rectangle with area the title of the painting.
This painting was executed in oil on masonite and has a black wooden frame. It is unsigned and undated.
Location
Currently not on view
date made
1970-1975
painter
Johnson, Crockett
Physical Description
masonite (substrate material)
wood (frame material)
Measurements
overall: 63.2 cm x 63.5 cm x 3.2 cm; 24 7/8 in x 25 in x 1 1/4 in
ID Number
1979.1093.58
catalog number
1979.1093.58
accession number
1979.1093
Credit Line
Ruth Krauss in memory of Crockett Johnson
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Mathematics
Science & Mathematics
Art
Crockett Johnson
Data Source
National Museum of American History

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