“Art is science made clear.”
– Jean Cocteau (1889 -1963) French poet, playwright, novelist, designer, filmmaker, visual artist and critic.
Science has influenced and inspired artists for centuries. In the twentieth century, Kandinsky, for example, incorporated imagery based on amoebas, embryos, and larvae in his work from the 1930s onwards (e.g. Surroundings, oil on canvas, 1936). Picasso was influenced by science and the dimensionality of space and time. Albert Einstein had an enormous influence on a wide range of art movements, including Dadaism, German Expressionism and the Bauhaus, Russian Constructivism, and the Surrealism of Salvador Dali.
Scientific knowledge and images inform our worldview. Science brings us a landscape that was invisible to previous generations. It can show us the depths of an atom, the inner workings of our bodies and the complexity of our universe.
My work looks for a deeper meaning behind the scientific images and brings up fundamental questions on the nature of our relationships within our society.
The images in this article illustrate two important and recurring themes in my work: healing and thought.
The Healing series shows how the body heals, and, in a broader sense, how, as a society, we need to heal ourselves in the same way. Some of the works show the slow process of the cells in the body working together to repair itself, while others show the individual white blood cells that guard us against outside infections.
The brain is the center of our rationality and irrationality. It controls our conscious and unconscious reactions. The Thought series uses images of the brain, including electron microscope images of the cerebral cortex and neurons, as well as a MRI of the brain, to invite the observer to get into the minds of others and explore their own rationality.
Footnote: Einstein for the 21st Century: His Legacy in Science, Art, and Modern Culture, by Peter L. Galison, Gerald Holton, Silvan S. Schweber (Editors), Princeton University Press, 2008
A selection of Rasch’s biology-themed works is currently on view in Seeing Within: Art Inspired by Science at The Samuel J. Wood Library at Weill Cornell Medicine, until June 12, 2020. To view the exhibition virtually, visit:
Rasch is represented by LAMINAproject, the hybrid art platform devoted to exhibiting and selling art inspired by science by emerging and established artists.
All images courtesy and copyright of Jody Rasch
A previous article by Jody Rasch can be found at Exploring the UnSeen (Interalia Magazine, December 2016)
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