Minimalistic Illustration

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Mollusks, Zeitschrift Physiologie t. 10. 1910
Friedrich W. Fröhlich, “Experimentelle Studien am Nervensystem der Mollusken” (436-466)

These pictures encapsulate a series of experiments recorded in a strict two-part regimen. But in this plate, the results of such seemingly straightforward science take on an iconic emptiness.  Each pictogram occupies space but contain only capacious white.  Each has dispensed with the subject-matter all together in favor of a bulbous corpulence.  By turns, their outlines evoke those of amphoras and turnips, phalluses and party hats.  This nervous shifting of shapes give way to an (obsessive?) experimental reconsideration of figure and form.  Nature’s protean hand thus leaves but signs hungry for their semiology, and abstractions waiting to be taken back into the world.

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