Sunflower

John Allen

About the Print
This abstract print by John Allen explores an understanding that the transposition of geometric shapes in dimensional space produces an image that is flat but presents the illusion of spatial perspective.

For a more complex view of how lines create shape, form, and a sense of perspective in works of art, view the video animation of the print Sunflower by John Allen, designed and created by students from Philadelphia high schools who participated in a Brandywine Workshop summer program. In the animation, the original printed This abstract print by John Allen explores an understanding that the transposition of geometric shapes in dimensional space produces an image that is flat but presents the illusion of spatial perspective. For a more complex view of how lines create shape, form, and a sense of perspective in works of art, view the video animation of the print Sunflower by John Allen, designed and created by students from Philadelphia high schools who participated in a Brandywine Workshop summer program. In the animation, the original printed image begins with a line that first forms a 90-degree triangle and goes on to rotate into the forms of a pyramid, diamond, trapezoid, rectangle, and — ultimately — three-dimensional shapes that, while moving through space, form a pattern.image begins with a line that first forms a 90-degree triangle and goes on to rotate into the forms of a pyramid, diamond, trapezoid, rectangle, and — ultimately — three-dimensional shapes that, while moving through space, form a pattern.

John Allen

Japanese
Born April 10, 1955 in Sagamihara, Japan
About the Artist

John Allen is a New York-based artist born in Sagamihara, Japan. He earned his BA from the University of California-Berkeley and an MFA from Hunter College, New York City. He is currently an adjunct assistant professor in the Fine Arts Department of the School of Art and Design at the Fashion Institute of Technology. He has also taught at the State University of New York-Purchase and Hunter College.

He has exhibited his work at institutions throughout New York including M55 Art, Long Island City; the Kingston Sculpture Biennial; The Drawing Center, Asian American Arts Center, and Kenkeleba House Gallery, New York City; Hallwalls, Buffalo; Longwood Arts Gallery, the Bronx; and Bronx River Art Center, the Bronx. He received a New York Foundation for the Arts’ Artist Fellowship in Painting; Public Art Fund Award; Jerome Foundation Fellowship; and was an artist-in-residence at Brandywine Workshop and Archives, Philadelphia.

Curriculum Connections

Suggested Topics for Algebra I and Geometry

Algebra I:

The resources provided can be used early on in an Algebra class to help students think in multiple dimen- sions. The artworks can be used to demonstrate illusions intended as a design element or to help students imagine space constructed or deconstructed from forms or shapes within a space. The ability to visualize concepts through art can make advanced math more accessible to students early on.

Geometry:

Some may want to use images in the Artura.org library to explore more complex uses of advanced math to create the illusions of space and solve spatial dynamic issues for three-dimensional works such as stand-alone sculpture and site-specific, public artworks. The laying of bricks or ceramic tiles is a skilled craft that can involve creativity and innovation in bricks or tiles are set and many available options in color, design, and texture are used. Sculptors such as Melvin Edwards, Richard Hunt, and John T. Scott have consistently used higher math concepts in the creation of large scale, space-defining public art.

Questions to Consider