For nearly 50 years Clark Richert has envisioned – and at times predated– in paint what scientists have sought through empirical observation. Known for his colorful patterned canvases, Richert initially found himself inspired with mathematical patterning in the early 1960’s when he came across the efficient geometry and humanitarian ideals of Buckminster Fuller’s geodesic dome. With a belief that pattern recognition is at the core of human understanding Richert began exploring new patterns in his paintings. He applied his discoveries in the construction of the famed art commune Drop City in southern Colorado, which he co-founded in 1965.
By 1970, Richert, who was intuitively observing shadows cast by three-dimensional forms, found that one such structure – the rhombic tricontahedron – placed under sunlight casts a shadow in the form of a two dimensional pattern made from tiling a pair of differently shaped diamonds. Richert noted that this pattern tiled across a plane never repeated itself. This discovery broke with the long held rule that five-fold symmetry was strictly impossible for any two dimensional packing of shapes. This so-called forbidden symmetry became the main subject for most of Richert’s paintings.
Richert made his first lithograph at Shark’s in 2014. Entanglement continues his interest in these rhombic tricontahedron patterns.
His work can be found in the collections of the Nelson-Atkins Museum, Wichita Art Museum, Denver Art Museum, Amoco, Container Corporation of America, and many other prominent private and public collections.