Opening Reception: The Unbearable Impermanence of Things

Sep 12, 2019


This exhibition curated by adjunct University of Denver professor and artist Libby Barbee presents work by contemporary artists whose projects incorporate ideas and aesthetics from nineteenth-century naturalism and natural history. The featured artists focus, in particular, on the pervasive yearning to arrest and preserve nature in the face of inexorable change and decay. In representing the impermanent as stable, the study of nature became an antidote to mortality. Through their exploration of these themes and tropes, the artists demonstrate and problematize the near-universal desire to create stable understandings of things and phenomena that are ever in flux.

Featured artists are Lex Thompson, Cole Swanson, Mark Dion, Richard Barnes, Renée Rendine, Megan Gafford, Conor King, John McEnroe, Mia Mulvey, Eileen Richardson, Gabriel Rico, Sarah Scott, Rebecca Vaughn, and Ashley Williams. Featured Image is Lex Thompson’s Portrait of Mabel Maxwell (2018).