Richard Kallweit

Bethany, Connecticut, USA

I use various ideas culled from math and science to create paintings and sculptures. They are related in part to weaving technologies, which have been called the earliest higher mathematical discoveries of man.

I use many discrete units in order to create finished works. The idea is to realize the organization of space in two and three dimensions. The results are patternistic paintings and structural polyhedron.

In 1965 some artist friends—Gene Bernofsky, JoAnn Bernofsky, Clark Richert—and I bought 6 acres of land in southern Colorado to start an artists’ community. The impetus behind this was to create a total immersive environment. It was fashioned in part on “Happenings,” a 50s art movement, and “Candid Camera,” a 50s tv show. The idea was not only to create a total environment, “Drop City,” but also to shock people. On top of this, we did not have to pay rent and could work and play as we pleased.

We had heard a lecture by Bucky Fuller at the University of Colorado and decided to build domes to live in as well as other geometric shapes that other people had developed and built. We had become a magnet for ideas and people. Other communities started in the Southwest with the geodesic dome the iconic symbol of the times. It was here that I began to develop my ideas about math and science to create my paintings and structures.

The community lasted from 1965 to 1976 . Most of the original people had left, and the domes fell into ruin and were finally destroyed. The land was ultimately sold to finance a loft in NYC for exhibitions of our paintings and finance an art magazine called “Criss-Cross” to further our ideas.

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