Ian Jehle is a Canadian artist and teacher based in Berlin and Washington D.C. An adventurer of interdisciplinary explorations, theories, and different modes of making, he’s served as an adjunct lecturer at American University and held residencies at the Banff Arts Centre and Glogau AIR in Berlin.
Working at the intersection of math, engineering, and visual arts, Jehle employs the concept of play. His large-scale, math-based installation projects are often participatory in nature, utilizing games, puzzles, and live events where attendees are invited to create works of art by following a simple set of mathematical rules.
‘There are patterns and beautiful things that emerge simply out of experimentation’
Jehle’s fascination with the dance between numbers and aesthetics stems from his university studies—simultaneously pursuing computer science, philosophy, and art at American University, Kansas City Art Institute, and Brandeis University. Then, completing his MFA in Visual Arts at Columbia University.
After graduation, he put his science background to practice by making technical drawings and then, becoming the head of engineering at the construction firm P&J Arcomet. Meanwhile, he continued to delve into his art practice and eventually, landed the university teaching position, which marked a point of no return. Jehle realized a passion for interacting with students and relished supporting their creative discoveries and innovations. So, art became his nexus.
Jehle enjoys meshing his engineering experience with his artistic practice, using building materials—gaffers tape, bungee cords, construction crayons, chalk, snap lines—and applying the visual language of CAD, math diagrams, and 3D visualizations. Moreover, he sees the worlds of science and art as deeply entwined with overlapping methods of inquiry, all of which form the basis of his work.
Ian Jehle’s pieces and installations have been exhibited across the U.S., in Europe and Japan, including the Baltimore Museum of Art, the Katzen Museum in Washington, the Arkansas Museum of Fine Arts, Gallery-éf in Tokyo, the Reinraum in Düsseldorf, Germany as well as at the Vorspiel/Transmediale Arts Festival in Berlin. See the detailed CV here.