Seattle artist Michael J. Schultheis returns to his alma mater, Washington State University, to deliver the twelfth V.N. Bhatia Lecture on Monday, March 9.
His presentation, titled “Analytical Expressionism: In the Dreams of Pythagoras,” will be at 7 p.m. in the Compton Union Building (CUB) Auditorium. The public is invited to this free event which is hosted by the WSU Honors College.
The artist describes creating his paintings with layers of equations and drawings that describe mathematical concepts. He “explores what happens in the human mind at the intimate and profound moment when analytical ideas render and how we draw them in perpetuity,” Schultheis said. Likening his canvas to a chalkboard, he said he paints what he sees on the “internal chalkboard of his mind–this is Analytical Expressionism.”
Schultheis, a native of nearby Colton, Wash., is the first artist to present the V.N. Bhatia Lecture, named for the visionary head of the WSU Honors program for more than three decades. Past lectures have been delivered by a U.S. ambassador, academicians, politicians, a poet, authors, and heads of organizations. The most recent Bhatia Lecture was presented Oct. 28, 2014 by Jon McCourt, community peace activist and former member of the Irish Republican Army (IRA).
According to a story published in “art. ltd.” magazine, Schultheis paintings begin as mathematical notations on a blank white canvas. Using a paint rag, he partially obscures his notes. “His canvasses are the result of multiple layers that include the theories of some of the world’s greatest thinkers, such as Galileo and Leonardo da Vinci. To these, Schultheis adds abstract concepts of his own, including geometric forms that have been re-visualized in the mind of the artist…ultimately (his) paintings are mathematics with a human face.”