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Small Worlds

“Fantasy, Ingredient of Life,” Neurontin (Gabapentin), by Margaret Oechsli, 2013

Photographs by Margaret Oechsli

October 2 – December 29 2014

Margaret Oechsli was born in Poland, where she earned a Master of Science at The University of Wroclaw and her PhD in Immunology at the Polish Academy of Sciences. Through the microscope, Oechsli has become a witness to a cellular world that we otherwise simply cannot see.

After having finished two postdoctoral fellowships in the United States, Oechsli made her home in Louisville where she became a US citizen. In 1999 she began to experiment with her microscope as an artistic tool, first photographing medications used in chemotherapy, relating to her clinical research. The images were featured in several galleries under the oncology theme. Reactions by both patients and doctors led her to photograph another field of medication, psychotropic drugs. Her interest in this field is centered on an “intellectual loop” of the mind altered by the medications, and processing the abstract images of the same medications.

There are parallels between Oechsli’s photographs to the abstract paintings of artists such as Kandinsky, Miro and Pollock. Her works question the distinction between nature and art, and also challenge us to consider the use of medications in our natural world.

Oechsli is an important artist in the world of photomicrography. Her works gained momentum by winning numerous awards with Nikon’s advocacy of the photomicrography field. She does not simply use the camera in the traditional scientific method; instead it is a tool for spotlighting the artistic images that exist within nature. In her works is the beauty of the world that lies at the molecular level.

“Diminutive, heavily accented, blazingly bright, exuberant and articulate, Margaret Oechsli is a wondrous surprise,” says Paul Paletti. “She is a scientist with a passionate artistic vision. Her large scale color photographs appear to explore caves, forests, aerial landscapes and celestial phenomena.”

Photographs by Oechsli have been exhibited at the Imperial Palace of Vienna, a touring international exhibit by Nikon, New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science, Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago, and Galeria Marcholt in Katowice, Poland. She has been honored five times in the Nikon International Small World Competition. Her works have been published in New Physician, the International Journal of Science, the journal Science, and Nikon’s “Celebrating 25 Years of Photomicrography” calendar. Oechsli now resides in Louisville, Kentucky with her husband.

A special reception with the artist, Margaret Oechsli, will be held on Thursday, October 2, 2014 from 5-8pm.