Natura Naturans

July 2, 2018 – August 17, 2018

Kathy Strauss

Kathy Strauss

For my entire professional and adult life (now extensive), I have straddled two worlds largely regarded as not only separate, but as polar opposites. I earn my living in a medical research lab (at the most amazing Division of Malaria Research at the equally amazing Center for Vaccine Development here at UMB), and I spend an inordinate amount of time and money on my other passion, fine art, in which I earned my undergraduate degree. Perhaps since I practice both with commitment and enthusiasm, I have never separated science from art, or the converse. From my first look at my own research histology slides, I was hooked on the stunning beauty of the microscopic views of mouse intestinal and muscle tissue. Since then, it has never occurred to me to view art and science as two discrete disciplines, preferring instead to see them as interwoven perspectives along the spectrum of life’s beautiful intricacy and profound simplicity.

Nearly all my work here is entitled “Lab Notebook ___”, a series I began years ago to explore random things I saw in nature. I’ve visually and intellectually explored everything from the Vibrios to osage oranges in these works. The bulk of the work shown here, however, concentrates on atomic structure (mostly of water), plant life (specifically trees that are meaningful to me personally), and the human figure. I love mathematics and science and integrating these into my art work.

I generally feel awkward writing show statements, which are a form of self-promotion for my exhibit and my art. So I will let Jackson Arn’s explication of “Humanistic Anatomy” – in reviewing the exhibit of Santiago Ramon y Cahal at NYU’s Grey Art Gallery – speak for my own process and vision in creating art based on scientific images and mathematical proofs:

Works like these don’t just convey what their artist saw under the microscope. They’re mysterious, playful, redolent of a kind of mystical depth. Unlike so many other scientific illustrations, their precision never feels exhaustive; instead, it seems to offer a hint of the transcendent…or ‘the surface came to look as if it were a kind of transparency “really” hung across a glimpsed infinity on the other side.’

The search for that transparency is, after all, the universal objective of not only the scientist and the artist, but of all human self-awareness. I have been privileged for many years to combine two disciplines to offer a perspective that I hope you will enjoy as much as I have loved creating the work.

 

An opening reception will kick off the exhibit on Wednesday, July 11 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. in the Weise Gallery on the first floor of the HS/HSL. Please RSVP no later than Tuesday, July 10 to events@hshsl.umaryland.edu.

 

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Upcoming Exhibits
  • July 2, 2018 – Aug. 17, 2018
    “Natura Naturans”
    by Kathy Strauss
  • Aug. 24, 2018 – Oct. 14, 2018 “Outbreak”
    by the Smithsonian Institution
  • Oct. 15, 2018 – Nov. 24, 2018
    “Pick Your Poison”
  • Dec. 3, 2018 – Feb. 22, 2019 available
  • March 18, 2019 – April 28, 2019 Yumi Hogan
  • June 17, 2019 – Aug. 17, 2019 available
  • Aug. 17, 2019 – Oct. 18, 2019 available
  • Oct. 28, 2019 – Jan. 24, 2020 available
Exhibit Archive
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