Inviting comparison with astral formations, forests, gardens, deserts and seabeds, this exhibition of fifty intricately beautiful microscopic photographs of slices of the nervous system provides compelling evidence for the aesthetic unity of perceived nature. Amid the visual delights, ironies abound. Torsten Wittmann’s study of “Inhibitory Neurons in a Rat’s Cerebral Cortex” takes the honors for the most stunning and exquisite image, presenting us with a scene recalling a forest clearing rife with bright red flowers and spindly, spiny and sinuous fresh-green vines. In contrast, Inigo Azcoitin’s shot of the “Human Cerebral Cortex” reveals a patch of baked desert bearing fading impressions of footprints. These images are, indeed, the “landscapes” that the show’s title promises us, and they make us wish that we could inhabit them in real life rather than hold them inaccessibly inside our bodies. (Michael Weinstein)
“Neuron Landscapes” shows at Instituto Cervantes, 875 North Michigan, (312)335-1996, through February 1.