Goodwin Fine Art is hosting a pair of tight solos that work beautifully together, though the two artists take almost opposite approaches to their related themes: imagining and fantasizing about nature.
In the capacious main gallery, Ashley Eliza Williams: Anthropocene features paintings of imaginary rocks rendered realistically; these are paired with works on paper sporting invented scientific data whose underlying idea is that human presence is a part of the natural record. “I’m painting rocks as unnatural objects altered by humans,” Ashley Eliza Williams writes, pointing out that “our species can now be considered a ‘geological force’ like glaciers and volcanoes.” This explains the show's title; "anthropocene" is the word that scientists use to describe the last few thousand years of human impact on the planet. Williams imagines future generations excavating fossilized plastics and petrified industrial chemicals.
A typical pairing is “Resonant,” a painting of a fictitious core sample, and “Data for Resonant,” a hypothetical chart meant to account for the elements that were discovered in the sample. The painting is gorgeous, a meticulous rendition of a layered rock done in toned-up shades of red transitioning to black at the bottom. The rock is depicted floating against a graduated color field that’s darker at the top. The approach is interesting in and of itself, since we’re looking at a realistic rendering of something that exists only in the artist’s mind. Williams exploits a similar effect in the multicolor pseudo bar graphs and captions, which are meant to explain the unnatural color of the rock.
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The second solo, The Cyclical Glow: Blanca Guerra-Echeverria, is installed in the corridor and the small viewing room in the back. The show comprises small-scale abstract ceramic sculptures that reference biological reproduction, specifically the artist's personal hopes and fears regarding child-bearing. The sculptures take on either simple shapes, as in the three-part “Multiplying Ovum” made up of a faceted orb, a sphere and a mound, or are assemblages of simple shapes like the cluster of black and gold balls in “Veiled Loss.”
Williams and Blanca Guerra-Echeverria live in New England, but they have past associations with Colorado: They each earned a graduate art degree at the University of Colorado Boulder, and Williams also had a RedLine residency here in Denver.
The two shows run through April 14 at Goodwin Fine Art at 1255 Delaware Street; call 303-573-1255 or go to goodwinfineart.com for more information.