James Mai

Professor of Art
Illinois State University
Normal, Illinois, USA
My recent work has focused on the combinatoric development of "loop-forms", closed curves that connect 3 points on each of 4 radii of a circle. Loop-forms employ loops that orbit the circle's center 1, 2, or 3 times, singly or in combination, and never contact a point more than once. There are 6 types of loop-form, of which 3 are simple (using only 1 loop) and 3 are compound (using 2 or 3 loops). The complete set of 1+1+1-orbit compound loop-forms (3 independent 1-orbit loops) is comprised of 46 distinct forms, after elimination of any forms that repeat another after reflection or rotation. I have found forms from this set useful for studies in color relativity (simultaneous color contrast).
Roundabout (1211+2333+3122) (O+G on R+BG-YG)
20 x 20 cm
archival inkjet print
2018
This composition uses the loop-form as a compositional matrix to explore color relativity. Orange and green colored lines (loops 1211 and 2333, respectively) cross into red and greenish color areas (loop 3112 and the large circular field). Although the orange and green lines are physically invariant in color, they appear to change from warmer to cooler and lighter to darker because of the influence of the colored grounds.
Roundabout (1332+2121+3213) (V+O on YG-BG+V-R-O)
20 x 20 cm
archival inkjet print
2018
This composition uses the loop-form as a compositional matrix to explore color relativity. Violet and orange colored lines (loops 1332 and 2121, respectively) cross into greenish and reddish color areas (loop 3213 and the large circular field). Although the violet and orange lines are physically invariant in color, they appear to change from warmer to cooler and lighter to darker because of the influence of the colored grounds.