Luke Jerram "Infectious Beauty"

Heller Gallery

poster for Luke Jerram "Infectious Beauty"

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Heller Gallery presents British artist Luke Jerram in his inaugural US exhibition entitled Infectious Beauty. The pieces included in the exhibition are clear glass renderings of viruses and bacteria, which cause some of the most deadly diseases – Smallpox, HIV, E-Coli, H1N1 (Swine Flu) and SARS. Infectious Beauty unites the viruses together in a powerful display and features two brand new works of the Swine Flu (H1N1) virus.

Our belief about what viruses and bacteria look like has been born out of depictions used by scientists and the media which often present them with false color. Jerram questions the use of color in virus models and its ability to elicit a heightened response in the viewer. Instead he presents us with exquisite transparent objects which infer deadly harm. In consultation with leading virologist Dr. Andrew Davidson from the University of Bristol, Luke Jerram has worked with specialized glassblowers to realize each virus and bacteria in a ‘natural,’ colorless state. Each sculpture is approximately 1 million times larger than the actual virus it represents.

Exploring the edges of scientific understanding and visualization, the artist contemplates the global impact of infectious disease. Smallpox, which dispatched more human lives than any other disease in human history, was responsible for up to 500 million deaths in the last century alone. Jerram's contemplative study of the Smallpox virus, without any falsification of color, retains a curious potency in 2010, which sees the 30th anniversary of the global eradication of the disease.

Current and recent pandemics, such as H1N1 (Swine Flu) and SARS, have reignited the zeal with which these viruses have become culturally significant. Jerram's complex glass works expose the tensions and complexities of scientific representations and how imagery is interpreted and consumed by the public. Jerram’s work has received world-wide critical acclaim. Since his first sculpture in 2003 - a dramatic rendering of the HIV virus – Luke has created work with ever-increasing scientific accuracy as enhancements in imaging techniques have continued, allowing for even more detailed interpretations of the same virus.

Luke Jerram is an inventor, a researcher, an amateur scientist and a multidisciplinary artist. Currently he is a Research Fellow at the University of Southampton, England. Jerram is the recipient of numerous awards and grants and his extraordinary projects and installations have won acclaim in cities around the world.



from June 04, 2010 to June 26, 2010

Reception For The Artist on 2010-06-19 from 11:00 to 12:00


Luke Jerram

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