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Group Show Celebrates Nature at Addison Ripley

As a hopeful prelude to Spring, Addison/Ripley Fine Art has briought together, under the stewardship of longtime gallery artist, Jackie Battenfield, Natural Allusions, an exhibition which includes her work as well at that of some of her peers. These seven artists, working in New York, Washington, DC and Berlin, refer to, take from and are, obviously captivated by nature in all its comely display, but as one artist, Carson Fox, puts so succinctly, "I am interested in beauty but I mistrust it."

The artists in Natural Allusions are inspired by nature. They probe into and deconstruct elements of landscape and botanical forms in their grandeur, chaos and growth to reaffirm our enduring connection to the physical realm. The exhibition features work that explore specific aspects of nature through painting, photography, prints and sculpture. The artists strip down, enlarge, and reconstruct to present the complexity of natural systems and to analyze the basic elements of landscape.


Julia Bloom's paintings and standing structures poetically assess the innate architecture of tree trunks and the humble bird's nest to capture the fragility and evanescence of light, air and shadow found in the forest. Hints of landscape emerge in Isabel Manalo's mixed media works, like a puzzle to be solved through judicially collaged snippets of foliage, forests and bare trees.

Themes of continuance resound as Carson Fox mines the crystalline and coral forms, thousands of years in the making, in her vividly hued cast and carved resin freestanding structures and wall installation. In sharp contrast, Judy Hoffman's ceramic sculptures use the malleability of clay to evoke ancient, caked, and encrusted organisms arising from primordial ooze.

Linda Cumming's photographs literally cascade from the walls of the gallery, depicting the interplay of light and movement on a river's rippling surface, created by her hand, submerged drawings, wind, and current. Reconstructing the unfolding and leafing of a branching tree limb, Jackie Battenfield's luminous paintings on translucent Mylar, also explore the distinctive evaporation patterns of paint pigments suspended in an aqueous mix.

Merle Temkin approaches her canvases from a sculptor's perspective, beginning with a tree's silhouette and using paint to "carve away" at the negative space and retaining the edges of each color layer until the lacey, branching form is revealed.

Natural Allusions is on exhibit through March 14, 2015.

Addison/Ripley Fine Art is located at 1670 Wisconsion Avenue in Georgetown. Tel: 202.338.5180