John G. Hatch
John G. Hatch is an Associate Professor of Art History at Western University in London, Ontario. He is currently Chair of the Department of Visual Arts and served as an Associate Dean for the Faculty of Arts and Humanities at Western from 2009 to 2015. Hatch’s academic career began with a degree in economics, but after a couple of years in private industry he returned to school to study art history, which led to a PhD in art history and theory from the University of Essex, U.K. His dissertation examined the impact of the physical sciences on modern art.
Hatch’s research has focused on the interstices of art and science, particularly in the twentieth century. However, his first published articles looked at geometry in Greek architecture and at Keplerian astronomy and religious mysticism in the churches of the baroque architect Francesco Borromini. This last, originally published in 2002, was reprinted in 2015 in a two-volume anthology on architecture and mathematics. His numerous articles dealing with science and modern art have ranged from the influence of wave patterns and Machian epistemology on the paintings of František Kupka to the adaptation of the relativistic theories of Henri Poincaré, Henrik Lorentz, and Albert Einstein in the art and architecture of El Lissitzky and Theo van Doesburg.
Recently Hatch’s attention has turned to astronomy and more contemporary artists, and he has published articles on Robert Smithson, Anselm Kiefer, and Shi Zhiying. It is this interest that drew his attention to the paintings of Paterson Ewen. Some of his more notable publications include “Cosmic Stutters: Anselm Kiefer’s Search for Redemption in the Stars,” in Nicholas Campion, ed., Heavenly Discourses (2016); “The Science behind Francesco Borromini’s Divine Geometry,” in Kim Williams and Michael Ostwald, eds., Architecture and Mathematics from Antiquity to the Future, Vol. II: The 1500s to the Future (2015); “Wrestling Proteus: The Role of Science in Modern Art and Architecture’s New Images of Nature,” in Brett Wilson, Barbara Hawkins, and Stuart Sim, eds., Art, Science, and Cultural Understanding (2014); “Seeing and Seen: Acts of the Voyeur in the Works of Francis Bacon,” in Rina Ayra, ed., Francis Bacon: Critical and Theoretical Perspectives (2012); and “Some Adaptations of Relativity in the 1920s and the Birth of Abstract Architecture,” in Nexus Network Journal 2, no. 1 (2012).