At the Intersection of Art and Science: Bentley Gallery Presents Mark Pomilio

Artist Mark Pomilio has said of his work, “I have chosen to create imagery that expresses a developmental process rather than an overt visual depiction.” Consider the traditional still-life painting. Simply defined, it is an attempt to duplicate an object, as it exists in reality. The work will always possess individual nuance but is fundamentally a pure depiction. Viewing Pomilio’s work Cloned Cell Study XIX, you sense a kinetic process, a representation of the means rather than the end. His paintings experiment with the processes of organic reproduction and growth, expressing what Pomilio calls, “the internal mechanics of nature” through the mathematical language we’ve created to describe it.

When Pomilio begins a piece, he doesn’t know where it will go. While it is true experimentation that is often part of the artistic process, Pomilio’s work would seem the exception. It is highly geometric, consisting entirely of basic shapes, and he employs tools of precision like a straightedge and compass. The unknown in his work is the use of these shapes to mimic organic systems of growth. He repeats and compounds basic forms over and over in a delimited spatial field, connecting, layering, and shading within, mirroring patterns in nature.

Wassily Kandinsky stated in his text Considering the Spiritual in Art, “The artist must have something to say, for mastery over form is not his goal but rather the adapting of form to its inner meaning.” There is something transcendent in Pomilio’s rendering of forms. Looking into one of the works from the “Cloned Cell Study” or “Fractal Dance” series, you don’t see mere shapes. There’s a feeling of staring into a deep realm, not unlike the visual awe of standing between two mirrors and observing the never-ending reflection of yourself in the glass. Pomilio’s artistic exploration of scientific and mathematical ideas engages the viewer in a way that scientific data cannot. 

–– Makiko Wholey

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