Alexander Humboldt on describing nature.

An extract from Volume II, Cosmos.

"Descriptions of nature, I would again observe, may be defined with sufficient sharpened scientific accuracy, without on that account being deprived of the vivyfying breath of imagination.  The poetic element must emanate from the intuitive perception of the connection between the sensuous and the intellectual, and of the universality and reciprocal limitation and unity of all the vital forms of nature. The more elevated the subject, the more carefully should all external adornments of diction be avoided. The true effect of a picture of nature depends on its composition; every attempt at an artificial appeal from the author must therefore necessarily exert a disturbing influence. He who familiar with the great works of antiquity, and secure in the posession of the riches of his native language, knows how to represent with simplicity of individualising truth that which he has received from his own contemplation, will not fail in producing the impression he seeks to convey;

for in describing the boundlessness of nature, and not the limited circuit of his own mind, he is enabled to leave to others unfettered freedom of feeling."

Francois Morellet

To celebrate his 90th birthday, The Mayor Gallery is showing "Les Regles du Jeu" by Francois Morellet.  The work pictured was made by marking out four sets of lines each rotated 22.5 degrees from the next.  The result is a dynamical feeling of rain falling on water.  These highly constrained images are playful and touching and each encourages the viewer to discover the simple relations giving rise to the complexity, asking them maybe, to think like a scientist.


Pilar Ordovas curates another thoughtful and excellent exhibit at Ordvas Gallery.  Three sculptures by Chillida made in the later years of his life.

Julio Le Parc at the Serpentine

Julio Le Parc's 'Sea Shapes'.

Working with simple means, Le Parc creates mesmerising and complex works, reminiscent of the relation between Nature and the underlying laws.