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Arts Spotlight: Vernon Pratt Exhibition

After being hidden for 36 years, Vernon Pratt’s work, All the Possibilities of Filling In Sixteenths (65,536), is coming to light at the Gregg Museum of Art & Design.

The massive 256-panel work is based on Pratt’s interest in the intricacies of systems and their variations and permutations. The piece, which reveals the possible permutations of a rectangle divided by three vertical and three horizontal lines into 16 units, is made up of 256 panels that stretch 110-feet long and 18-feet high.

Pratt (1940-2000), a Durham native and jazz musician who called himself ART RAT, worked primarily in black, white and grayscale that focused on mathematical systems. Upon his untimely death, most of his works were stored in a warehouse and nearly forgotten. Now, with the help of William H. Dodge, an NC State College of Design graduate turned Raleigh architect, Pratt’s “magnum opus” is finally going to be displayed for the very first time. 

To honor Pratt’s themes of jazz and mathematics, Arts NC State Executive Director Rich Holly has composed an original musical piece to complement the exhibit. 

All the Possibilities of Sixteen officially opens on October 11 with an opening reception at 6 p.m. The event is free and open to the public, included under the #ArtItUp18 heading and will feature introductions by Scott Laird of the NC School of Science and Math, William Dodge, founder of The Vernon Pratt Project, and Rich Holly.

Can’t make it to the opening reception? There’s plenty of time to view the exhibit before it closes on February 10, 2019. Information about regular business hours, the Vernon Pratt exhibit and other Gregg Museum offerings can be found here

Make sure to take advantage of this rare opportunity to check out the unusual blending of math and art.


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