Theoretical and actual also contend in Julie Wolfe’s sprawling “Quest for a Third Paradise,” upstairs at the same venue. Included are one of the local artist’s “Green Rooms,” an array of bottles filled with water samples dosed with extracts and chemicals. The infusions yield intense hues that Wolfe echoes in paintings, drawings and a collage that creates a color wheel from covers of books and pamphlets.
The third paradise the D.C. artist seeks is one in which nature, technology and humanity all flourish. She evokes this in pictures that suggest both organic and electronic systems, or by juxtaposing black-and-white photos with areas of pure color. In video close-ups of water, Wolfe celebrates the organic world’s continual flux. Yet her hard-edge pieces display a parallel enthusiasm for the archetypal.