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Art in Nature: Macro to Micro

Albert G. Richards, Snowflake, radiograph on paper, 8 x 10 in. ( 20.32 x 25.4 cm ), Gift of Dr. Seymour and Barbara K. Adelson

ENVIRON 244 – School of Environment and Sustainability

Faculty Curator: Cathy Barry (Stamps School of Art and Design; UM Biological Station)

On view: Winter 2022

Art making is at the center of the “Art in Nature: Micro to Macro” course. Drawing on a variety of sources from both art and science, students are tasked to investigate the forms and structures that appear in nature at different scales and consider the role that art production plays in our ability to visualize and make sense of them. How do the aesthetic forms that we find in nature shape our processes of making meaning? How do our processes for making the world visible with meaningful order shape our experience of nature?

The installation presents two ways of “seeing” nature through art. Some works, such as the photographs on display, depict visible forms that we can see with the eye at various scales in nature from the micro to the macro. Others, such as the work of Gabor Peterdi, are more conceptual, representing forms of complex order that we cannot find in nature with the naked eye and only art can make visible.

Works Included In This Collection

1948; printed 1978
Ansel Adams
gelatin silver print on paper
Albert G. Richards
radiograph on paper
Marilyn Bridges
gelatin silver print on paper
Norman Barker; Giraud V. Foster
color photograph on paper
Gabor Peterdi
etching and engraving on paper
Ernesto Caivano
ink and graphite on paper


Lead support for this exhibition is provided by the University of Michigan Office of the Provost, Erica Gervais Pappendick and Ted Pappendick, the Eleanor Noyes Crumpacker Endowment Fund, and the Oakriver Foundation.