Carl Strüwe: Microphotographs

In the 1920s, German graphic designer Carl Strüwe (1898-1988) was mesmerized by the sharp-focus look, content, and beauty of scientific specimen viewed under intense magnification.  “When, in 1924, I first looked through a microscope,” he explained, “my schoolboy knowledge of the natural sciences had long but disappeared.  My mind was therefore like a black canvas in that respect…. so I saw mostly forms, shapes and a wealth of variations of black, grey and white.  I saw images.”  To frame and transform those images, Strüwe methodically crafted and inserted tiny rectangular cardboard templates into the microscopes he photographed his subjects through.  The visually striking and elegant images that resulted bridged science and art.  They were exhibited widely in Europe after World War II, featured in Gyorgy Kepes’ influential exhibition, The New Landscape in Art and Science, at MIT in 1951, and published in the monograph, Formen des Mikrokosmos, in 1955.

Courtesy: Steven Kasher Gallery, New York