Buckminsterfullerene by Melissa Gwyn (2007)

Buckminsterfullerene_Melissa_Gwyn

Painting: Buckminsterfullerene, 2007, Oil on wood panel, 34 x 20 inches

 

A naturally occurring carbon hollow sphere, the Buckminsterfullerene looks like one of Fuller’s geodesic domes. Known also as “buckyballs,” these geodesic shaped molecules are detectable in both soot and deep space.  Among the largest objects in the wave particle spectrum,  the Buckminsterfullerene can house atoms of other elements and inhibit the HIV virus.

En-swirled about a giant red star, Gwyn’s multicolored geodesic spheres demonstrate how energy and mass play in a subatomic world, where the artistry of physics meets much of the art from mid-twentieth century America to now. Reminiscent of the early part of her career when she focused upon the abstract thinking and design notions of Fuller, here Gwyn takes from the abstract and makes it concrete, leaving room for us to recreate, to fill in blanks and make meaning.  It is fitting, therefore, that we include
Gwyn in this issue and celebrate her artistry and relationship to Fuller and her affinity with Black Mountain College.