Paul Panhuysen

Number made visible - Number made audible

28 Jan - 18 March 2012

Paul Panhuysen (1934) has earned a reputation not only as an artist, but also as the originator of Eindhoven's Apollohuis. From 1980 to 1997 he was the driving force behind this experimental space, which developed into an international platform for artists working in a range of disciplines. A merging of various art forms takes place in Panhuysen's own work as well. He approaches image and sound as two equivalent and interrelated variables. That has resulted in a very diverse body of two-dimensional work, sound sculptures, string installations and concerts of experimental music. In the exhibition being held in De Pont's project space, the accent lies with his two-dimensional works. These have their points of departure in magic squares, sudoku puzzles and the Fibonacci Sequence. Panhuysen has 'translated' the numbers from these mathematical sequences into form, color and sound.


In the series Eight Double Sudokus, the works derive their structure from the sudoku, where the number nine is a recurrent unit. Each work consists of three rows of three prints (90 x 90 centimeters) which have been subdivided into three sections of three: a total of eighty-one sections. This structure has been filled with nine different types of forms (the eight segments of a square with rounded corners as well as its void area in the middle) and nine different colors. The sequence of numbers in two different sudokus serves as the guideline for his placement of color and line. One sudoku determined the form; the other determined the color. By numbering the lines and colors and by allowing their sequence to correspond to that in the two sudokus, Panhuysen gives shape to the eighty-one sections of the structure.


Panhuysen also developed the sound through these same points of departure. Several of the prints being shown are accompanied by music that has been composed on the basis of the same sudokus. The music consists of various fragments of piano-playing that have been rearranged and juxtaposed according to the number sequences of the two sudokus. Hence thetitle of this work: Number made visible - Number made audible.


The urge to investigate sensory phenomena and to leave the outcome of this to chance is one of the main motives underlying Paul Panhuysen's artistic endeavors. Here art becomes a haven in which to explore the world. In an interview related to his exhibition in the project space, Panhuysen remarked: "In recent years politicians have been saying, more and more, that an artist should be an entrepreneur. And then I thought: that's funny... Why did I become an artist? Because I didn't want to become an entrepreneur. That's what it comes down to, that I wanted to discover and explore things. That's what I want to spend my whole life doing."