August 7 - October 16, 2009
Biomedical Visualization at UIC, “Redefining the Medical Artist”
Vesna Jovanovic, “Pareidolia”
Free, public reception: Friday, August 7, from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m.
|Meena Malhotra, Dendritic Spine Growth|
“Redefining the Medical Artist” features state-of-the-art scientifically accurate representations of the body in various media by students, alumni, and faculty of UIC’s Biomedical Visualization graduate program. Their work stems from the tradition of medical illustration founded by the 16th-century physician Vesalius, who first sought to communicate anatomical knowledge through visual means; however, these contemporary medical artists have grown far beyond drawing from dissection. They now create animations, digital renderings, and three-dimensional models to depict biomedical procedures, processes, and phenomena—illustrating the progress of medicine as well as that of visual technology. The Biomedical Visualization program at UIC is the only accredited program focusing on this field in the Midwest and one of just a handful of such programs in the United States. UIC’s program is among the largest in the nation with regard to enrollment and the only one to have a Virtual Reality in Medicine Laboratory. For more information about the program, please visit www.ahs.uic.edu/bhis/programs/bvis.php.
|Vesna Jovanovic, Radiating Duodenum|
Jovanovic’s exhibition highlights her series of ink spill drawings that explore the psychological phenomenon of pareidolia, in which a vague and random stimulus, often an image, is perceived as being significant—for example, when people imagine that they see animals or faces in clouds. In a process influenced by Rorschach testing and designed to incorporate an element of chance into her work, Jovanovic begins with randomly spilled ink, around which she then draws intricate biomorphic forms. Her method replicates that of a scientific researcher who discerns a pattern from scattered data points, and the resulting drawings serve as documents of visionary discovery. Originally trained in chemistry, Jovanovic now uses art as an alternate avenue of inquiry, one that reveals open-ended questions rather than reductive formulae. She received her MFA in Photography from Ohio State University and currently teaches ceramics at Loyola University in Chicago. Further details about Jovanovic and her work are available at: www.vesnaonline.com.
These exhibitions are the latest in the Museum’s “Anatomy in the Gallery” series, which has showcased medically themed contemporary art in quarterly paired exhibitions since 1998. The Museum exhibits this artwork along with thousands of historical artifacts from its permanent collection, including surgical instruments as well as a number of paintings, drawings, and sculptures, in accordance with its mission: to enrich the lives of its visitors by enhancing their appreciation and understanding of medicine.
To learn more about “Anatomy in the Gallery,” please visit the program’s MySpace page.
This project is partially sponsored by a CityArts Program 2 grant from the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency.