Alex at home in Dayton, Montana 2009
A well-known Geologist, Geochemist and Mineralogist, Alex has described and published the
geology South of Boulder City, well as the Gold Butte Quadrangle South of Mesquite and North
of Lake Mead. The published work covers a large part of the Lake Mead National Recreation
Area. It was done for the Nevada Bureau of Mines and the Mackay School of Mines, University of
Nevada, Reno, where he served as Mineralogist and Professor from 1956 to 1973. The fieldwork
did not leave much time to admire the beauty of the mountains and the rock formations of this
area - one of the most picturesque in the world! Ever since, Alex has regretted not doing more
photography and artistic recording of the most inaccessible and remarkable rock forms, caves,
as well as plants, the cacti, and the rare desert animals he had seen and encountered. Thus,
after over 40 years of active scientific activity which has taken him through all continents
(except Antarctica! ), teaching and lecturing at universities and academies of science, studying
Lunar Rocks from Apollo Missions for NASA, and consulting in Russia, Siberia, Kazakhstan, Saudi
Arabia, Iran, Egypt, South Africa, and Nigeria - he has retired in Montana but has returned to his
'first love' - Nevada and the "Rapakivi" granites which he has discovered in 1958 in Southern Clark
County. The Guggenheim fellowship gave Alex an opportunity to study similar rocks in Egypt (and
Australia). In Egypt related rocks have been used to build Pharaonic temples, giant statues of
Ramesside Pharaohs and the famous monolithic obelisks of the only woman Pharaoh Hatshepsut.

Born in Finland of a German-English-Russian family, which has produced artists, scientists, an
Evangelist Lutheran Pastor Senior at St. Peter in St. Petersburg, Russia, a Major General, military
officers, and government officials. Alex has his own ideas about 'rock art'. He sees in
nature-molded or 'sculpted' rocks and monoliths not only forms resembling dinosaurs, elephants,
turtles and other animals, human forms and man-built structures, but has photographed and
collected unique combinations and products of weathering and plain coincidental
'arrangements' - that do not resemble anything reminding us of human - produced images; other
perhaps than a coincidental similarity of some well-known modern painter's tableaus - such as by
Dali, Bracque, Pollock, Rothko, Malevich, Warhol, etc...

Alex loves 'odd' surfaces seen on rocks and sandstone slabs, and schist, and stray boulders
spotted on his long walks through the desert floor. He likes to photograph them covered with
desert patina, green lichen, or just dust; but especially when they are found after a rare desert
storm - still moist, shiny, colorful, and preferably what he calls free of all anthropomorphic signs
or ghosts that would tend to make one think or recall some known object. This does not
prevent Alex from discovering mystical images from the Old Testament, phantoms and faces
done as well by NATURE itself, as a Michelangelo, a Leonardo, or a Raphael might have done. His
photos of combinations of naturally fallen rock slabs can recall some Greek temples, or Gothic
cathedrals, even a still life by Zurbaran !
Artist Statement...

From childhood, the visual arts and sciences were my main attractions. Our large house near Viipuri in Finland (now Vyborg, Russia), our 'dacha',
was full of great portraits and paintings. Both my aunts and my mother had studied art in St. Petersburg and Paris, my grandfather from my
mother's side had been a traveler and publisher of art books, and the walls of many rooms were lined by bookshelves with rare books and
encyclopedias; mostly in Russian, German, and French. There also was one forbidden library room, to which my sister and I soon found the keys.
Comfortable sofas stood in the libraries where we spent much time reading. My father, retired Colonel of the Russian Semyonovsky Leibgarde
Regiment, had earned a doctorate in Organic Chemistry in Bonn, Germany, but now was an asthmatic, and unable to work in industry. This
permitted him to teach my sister and I at home all the subjects required in order to pass external exams.

This background, I believe, enabled me to successfully graduate from the University of Helsinki with eximia cum laude and a doctoral degree in
Geology, Mineralogy, and Inorganic Chemistry. The high grades resulted in a grant to do my post-doctoral studies at the Universities of Vienna,
Heidelberg, and at California Institute of Technology, from where I was invited to the University of Nevada, Reno. I have served there as Head of
the Nevada Mining Analytical Laboratory, Mineralogist of the State and Professor of Geochemistry. There I received the Guggenheim Fellowship.
Later, as Professor of Geochemistry at the University of North Dakota, and as visiting professor at The University of California, Irvine; Killam
Professor at the Dalhousie University in Halifax, Canada; and the University of Washington, Pullman; and finally at 'Montana Tech' of the
University of Montana system, where I served also as Director of The Fast-Neutron Activation Laboratory, the Senior Radiation Safety Officer,
and Professor of Engineering Geology, when I retired.

My work permitted me to travel, consult, and lecture widely in Europe, Australia, Africa, Japan, and the Americas (Brazil); Consulting for
Canadian and US mining companies especially in Russia, Kazakhstan, India, Iran, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, South Africa, and the USA, I have
had considerable opportunity to see much 'rock' and when lecturing in cities always had reserved enough time to visit and spend considerable
time in museums, especially art museums!

I never forgot my old love for visual art, sculpture, history, Archeology and pre-history. I especially cherished the opportunity to spend
unhurried time in Egypt, Greece, Sicily, Italy, Spain, France, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Iran.

The Southern Nevada landscapes, and red sandstone and the caves of the Mohave desert, and some rocks I photographed there, remind me of the
Martian 'blueberries'! (see the Louise Bourgeois' Avenza and her 'The Destruction of the Father"). And, the Mohave fine dark dust covering the
desert floor, reminds me of the lunar surface with its black 'soil' or 'dust' which I have studied from Apollo samples.  The Montana Stillwater
area, where I have done my latest work with the platinum-palladium deposits, naturally also have become my favorites.

Surfaces, surfaces, surfaces, flashing at us their fully random compositions and always varying colors, forms, lines, and ghost-like images -
scratched by the Indian tribes already long disappeared.  Surprises, surprises that one finds on subsequent visits! Just as if the ground, the
desert floor is living and breathing at us its always changing appearances.

              
A well-known Geologist, Geochemist and Mineralogist, Alex has described and published the
geology South of Boulder City, well as the Gold Butte Quadrangle South of Mesquite and North
of Lake Mead. The published work covers a large part of the Lake Mead National Recreation
Area. It was done for the Nevada Bureau of Mines and the Mackay School of Mines, University of
Nevada, Reno, where he served as Mineralogist and Professor from 1956 to 1973. The fieldwork
did not leave much time to admire the beauty of the mountains and the rock formations of this
area - one of the most picturesque in the world! Ever since, Alex has regretted not doing more
photography and artistic recording of the most inaccessible and remarkable rock forms, caves,
as well as plants, the cacti, and the rare desert animals he had seen and encountered. Thus,
after over 40 years of active scientific activity which has taken him through all continents
(except Antarctica! ), teaching and lecturing at universities and academies of science, studying
Lunar Rocks from Apollo Missions for NASA, and consulting in Russia, Siberia, Kazakhstan, Saudi
Arabia, Iran, Egypt, South Africa, and Nigeria - he has retired in Montana but has returned to his
'first love' - Nevada and the "Rapakivi" granites which he has discovered in 1958 in Southern Clark
County. The Guggenheim fellowship gave Alex an opportunity to study similar rocks in Egypt (and
Australia). In Egypt related rocks have been used to build Pharaonic temples, giant statues of
Ramesside Pharaohs and the famous monolithic obelisks of the only woman Pharaoh Hatshepsut.

Born in Finland of a German-English-Russian family, which has produced artists, scientists, an
Evangelist Lutheran Pastor Senior at St. Peter in St. Petersburg, Russia, a Major General, military
officers, and government officials. Alex has his own ideas about 'rock art'. He sees in
nature-molded or 'sculpted' rocks and monoliths not only forms resembling dinosaurs, elephants,
turtles and other animals, human forms and man-built structures, but has photographed and
collected unique combinations and products of weathering and plain coincidental
'arrangements' - that do not resemble anything reminding us of human - produced images; other
perhaps than a coincidental similarity of some well-known modern painter's tableaus - such as by
Dali, Bracque, Pollock, Rothko, Malevich, Warhol, etc...

Alex loves 'odd' surfaces seen on rocks and sandstone slabs, and schist, and stray boulders
spotted on his long walks through the desert floor. He likes to photograph them covered with
desert patina, green lichen, or just dust; but especially when they are found after a rare desert
storm - still moist, shiny, colorful, and preferably what he calls free of all anthropomorphic signs
or ghosts that would tend to make one think or recall some known object. This does not
prevent Alex from discovering mystical images from the Old Testament, phantoms and faces
done as well by NATURE itself, as a Michelangelo, a Leonardo, or a Raphael might have done. His
photos of combinations of naturally fallen rock slabs can recall some Greek temples, or Gothic
cathedrals, even a still life by Zurbaran !
Artist Statement...

From childhood, the visual arts and sciences were my main attractions. Our large house near Viipuri in Finland (now Vyborg, Russia), our 'dacha',
was full of great portraits and paintings. Both my aunts and my mother had studied art in St. Petersburg and Paris, my grandfather from my
mother's side had been a traveler and publisher of art books, and the walls of many rooms were lined by bookshelves with rare books and
encyclopedias; mostly in Russian, German, and French. There also was one forbidden library room, to which my sister and I soon found the keys.
Comfortable sofas stood in the libraries where we spent much time reading. My father, retired Colonel of the Russian Semyonovsky Leibgarde
Regiment, had earned a doctorate in Organic Chemistry in Bonn, Germany, but now was an asthmatic, and unable to work in industry. This
permitted him to teach my sister and I at home all the subjects required in order to pass external exams.

This background, I believe, enabled me to successfully graduate from the University of Helsinki with eximia cum laude and a doctoral degree in
Geology, Mineralogy, and Inorganic Chemistry. The high grades resulted in a grant to do my post-doctoral studies at the Universities of Vienna,
Heidelberg, and at California Institute of Technology, from where I was invited to the University of Nevada, Reno. I have served there as Head of
the Nevada Mining Analytical Laboratory, Mineralogist of the State and Professor of Geochemistry. There I received the Guggenheim Fellowship.
Later, as Professor of Geochemistry at the University of North Dakota, and as visiting professor at The University of California, Irvine; Killam
Professor at the Dalhousie University in Halifax, Canada; and the University of Washington, Pullman; and finally at 'Montana Tech' of the
University of Montana system, where I served also as Director of The Fast-Neutron Activation Laboratory, the Senior Radiation Safety Officer,
and Professor of Engineering Geology, when I retired.

My work permitted me to travel, consult, and lecture widely in Europe, Australia, Africa, Japan, and the Americas (Brazil); Consulting for
Canadian and US mining companies especially in Russia, Kazakhstan, India, Iran, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, South Africa, and the USA, I have
had considerable opportunity to see much 'rock' and when lecturing in cities always had reserved enough time to visit and spend considerable
time in museums, especially art museums!

I never forgot my old love for visual art, sculpture, history, Archeology and pre-history. I especially cherished the opportunity to spend
unhurried time in Egypt, Greece, Sicily, Italy, Spain, France, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Iran.

The Southern Nevada landscapes, and red sandstone and the caves of the Mohave desert, and some rocks I photographed there, remind me of the
Martian 'blueberries'! (see the Louise Bourgeois' Avenza and her 'The Destruction of the Father"). And, the Mohave fine dark dust covering the
desert floor, reminds me of the lunar surface with its black 'soil' or 'dust' which I have studied from Apollo samples.  The Montana Stillwater
area, where I have done my latest work with the platinum-palladium deposits, naturally also have become my favorites.

Surfaces, surfaces, surfaces, flashing at us their fully random compositions and always varying colors, forms, lines, and ghost-like images -
scratched by the Indian tribes already long disappeared.  Surprises, surprises that one finds on subsequent visits! Just as if the ground, the
desert floor is living and breathing at us its always changing appearances.