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Artist Draws Inspiration from Science

A local artist is exploring the relationship between art and science through her work — art and science have long followed one another through the major discoveries and philosophies of history. Click to Listen Lillian Warren is a Houston artist who is fascinated by science. Her latest series of oil and canvas works are based […]

A local artist is exploring the relationship between art and science through her work — art and science have long followed one another through the major discoveries and philosophies of history.

Click to Listen

Lillian Warren is a Houston artist who is fascinated by science. Her latest series of oil and canvas works are based on images of DNA electrophoresis — or DNA testing.

Warren is certainly not the first artist to draw inspiration from science. The two disciplines have long been connected. In the 15th century, as scientists gained a better understanding of the human body, art followed with more accurate depictions of anatomy. Artists began to experiment with perspective in painting and scientists were led to contemplate new ideas about the universe and solar system. Arthur Miller is a professor of history at University College London. He says Picasso is possibly the best modern example of how art and science co-exist.

Picasso’s form of Cubism was based on the concept of seeing every dimension of a subject at the same time. He was influenced by the Avant Garde movement which focused on the interaction between space and time. Picasso tried to convey four dimensions in his work, an idea that also fascinated Albert Einstein.

And there’s more to how science and art relate than just changing perspectives or using new technologies. Warren says she sometimes responds emotionally to scientific concepts, and that leads to new outlets of artistic endeavor.

Warren says art and science prompt her to ask how and why. To her, art is a visceral experience that connects her to the physical world.

View Lillian Warren’s work.

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Laurie Johnson

Laurie Johnson

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Laurie is a native Houstonian who started her career at Houston Public Media in 2002. Laurie has covered a wide variety of topics for HPM, including the crash of the Space Shuttle Columbia, Hurricanes Katrina and Ike, and numerous elections. She is a frequent contributor to NPR and has been...

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