The Coverly Set
May 24-June 30, 2017
Matthew Day Jackson
Sargent’s Daughters is pleased to present The Coverly Set, a group exhibition of painting, drawing, video, sculpture and installation. The exhibition will be on view from May 24 through June 30, 2017.
The exhibition takes its title from Tom Stoppard’s play Arcadia, in which 18th century Thomasina Coverly plots the mathematical equation for a leaf well before the invention of computers. Coverly, who is loosely based on Ada Byron King, Countess of Lovelace, asks:
If there is an equation for a curve like a bell, there must be an equation for one like a bluebell, and if a bluebell, why not a rose? Do we believe nature is written in numbers?
The natural world and the digital world are often viewed as being at odds with each other, with the natural usually cast as “good” and the mechanical as “evil”. This simplistic notion of natural vs. digital is at odds with reality, in which the meeting point of the nature and science is far more complex. Artists have long been drawn to the inherent possibilities of rendering the natural world numerically, as in Fibonacci sequences and Umberto Eco’s calculations of ideal beauty, and this intricate relationship has become more pronounced as technology becomes not only a subject for art, but the means by which it is made.
The Coverly Set highlights the complex ways nature and man are entwined, and how our own relationship and development of technology can be used to enhance as well as endanger the world around us.