Americas

Christopher Badger
Geomtric Construction of Antiquity, 6

In mathematics, the so-called geometric problems of antiquity are shapes that elude the classical tools of an unmarked straightedge and compass. In Geometric Construction of Antiquity, 6 (2011), Badger doggedly sets out to represent one such form. Each of six circles grazes its opposite and crosses the other five. A thin red chalk line, traced from circle center to circle center, produces a perfect hexagon. Though Badger’s precision in pursuit of the perfect polygon might seem accomplishment enough, the shape is far from an end in itself; its construction has generated other, equally elegant shapes and outlines.

Christopher Badger begins with a root fascination—a shape, a landscape, or a sound—and then pursues it methodically to its logical, and usually open-ended, conclusion. Though his work touches on timeless questions and engages with “forms as forms,” his process allows for unusual transparency. When he revisits a modernist form, he denies its singularity, pointing to the multiple threads that make it up and the myriad directions in which it could potentially go. Obstinate problems are met with an abundance of hypotheses, each seemingly equally compelling.