Ruth Vollmer: 1961-1978
Thinking the Line
Edited by Nadja Rottner and Peter Weibel. Essays by Rhea Anastas, Mel Bochner, Ann Reynolds, Nadja Rottner, Kirsten Swenson and Anna Vallye. Text by Rolf-Gunter Dienst, Susan Carol Larsen, Lucy Lippard, Sol LeWitt, Thomas Nozkowski, and Richard Tuttle.
Some of the most significant artistic developments of the 1960s were spearheaded by a single, remarkably small group of colleagues in New York, including Sol LeWitt, Robert Smithson, Mel Bochner, Eva Hesse, Richard Tuttle and a less familiar figure named Ruth Vollmer (1903-1982). Vollmer was a German-born emigre who devoted her work to the cross-fertilization of science, mathematics and the visual arts. Drawing from sources as diverse as Plato's philosophy of mathematics and Bernhard Riemann's non-Euclidean notion of space, she experimented freely with the many permutations of the sphere, from the circle, spiral and pseudosphere to the ephemeral soap bubble. Vollmer's mathematical formalism contributed substantially to the development of a new language of abstraction. Thinking the Line, the first book to offer a compact overview of the artist's oeuvre, includes a selection of sculptures and drawings from the 1960s and 70s alongside essays by art historians, other artists and Vollmer herself.