Bonnie Cutts: Visions of Memory
Neuroscience is an ambitious field. Not content to simply map and explain the brain like the engine of a car, neuroscience has reached far into the domain of more humanistic fields of study. There are now courses and institutes dedicated to neuroscience and law, art, and literature. These developments get written up and debated in The New York Times on a regular basis, but we don’t often hear about the reverse relationship: Just as neuroscience has begun to explore the arts, the arts have begun to explore the images and theories produced by neuroscience. One such examination is Bonnie Cutts’s “Visions of Memory” exhibit at Opening Night Framing Services & Gallery. The idea for the project was first conceived when Cutts’s son, a neuroscience concentrator at Brown University, saw one of his mother’s projects in the studio. Typical of her work, the painting was abstract and had a focus on depth and texture, with collaged paint skins and circles layered on top of colored squares. The image reminded him of a photo he had seen of a new method of visualizing neurons called Brainbow, which he showed to Cutts, who was immediately taken in by the vibrant color and depth of the photos. Brainbow, developed by Sanes and Lichtman at Harvard in 2007, allows researchers to distinguish individual neurons from each other through genetic engineering that causes them to fluoresce distinct colors, creating a vivid pattern of vibrant cells. For "Visions of Memory," Cutts was inspired by images of a mouse's hippocampus, an area of the brain implicated in memory formation. The work fits well with Cutts’s overall aesthetic. “It was a flow, really,” she says. “I’ve always been interested in what’s inside and what’s underneath.” (Bonnie Cutts, Visions in Blue)
Mondays-Saturdays. Starts: Sept. 9. Continues through Oct. 31, 2013
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