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Robischon’s Flourish to Whither Away

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There’s a marvelous group exhibition at the Robischon Gallery (1740 Wazee Street, 303-298-7788, www.robischongallery.com) called Flourish that’s been organized by co-director and curator Jennifer Doran. The theme of the show is nature-based abstraction as done by artists in the gallery’s stable, and it’s the perfect thing for late-spring and early-summer art viewing. Though the artists in the exhibit have followed their own counsel, somehow everything they’ve done works beautifully together and thus collectively expresses a single coherent idea: that natural forms lend themselves to abstraction.

The high quality of the offerings in Flourish is apparent even from the sidewalk, because Ana Maria Hernando’s “Un Rio de Cantos Blancos” is visible through the front window. The piece, an installation evocative of a pond, is made out of hand-crafted doilies and other needlework, some of them embedded in cast-acrylic disks. Show organizer and gallery co-director Doran explained that Hernando has the handmade cloths done by cloistered nuns in South America and is able to communicate with them only through writing.

Across from the Hernando installation is a multi-part wall sculpture by Brad Miller in which vaguely naturalist shapes inspired by branches, seed pods and other plant forms have been scattered up on a wall. Miller’s surfaces are marvelous, as are the subtle colors he uses. Also in this first part of the show are some monumental prints by Judy Pfaff and even larger wall-mounted installations by Katy Stone constructed of painted Duralar plastic sheets held in place with pins.

The second and third parts of the show explore several artists in depth, including Ross Bleckner, Trine Bumiller and Jamie Brunson. All three use things found in nature as starting points for work that verges on pure abstraction. Being totally abstract is certainly what Terry Maker is interested in, with three of her “Spiny” series paintings done with resin and mixed materials that include sea shells and tire tread. Filling out Flourish’s roster are Jae Ko, Rebecca DiDomenico and Kathy Moss.

All good things come to an end, as they say, and so it will be with Flourish, which, unfortunately, is rapidly coming to a close. The show comes down at 4 p.m., Saturday, June 21. -- Michael Paglia

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