"Industrial Paradise" at Artisphere Sunday, March 23

Man and nature have always had a complex relationship: You can see it any time a logging company flattens another stretch of rainforest, when Adam and Eve eat the forbidden fruit, or whenever Batman fights Poison Ivy. Alternatively, it’s also the theme of Jessica Van Brakle’s latest exhibition, “Industrial Paradise.” On canvases bedecked with pencil drawings, ink, and acrylics, Van Brakle juxtaposes colorful manmade structures and heavy machinery with monochromatic flora. Her scenes take inspiration from reality: In one painting, excavators claw deep into black, fertile soil to dig up the last few trees that dot a ruined landscape. In another, an industrial tower stands ominously over stalks of grass, rivaled only by a tall, dark tree canopy. “These new pieces relate the conflicting worlds that can coexist in one psychological space,” Van Brakle writes on her website. Visitors and activists waxing nostalgic about Ferngully should think about keeping those feelings to themselves. The exhibition is on view Wednesdays to Fridays 4 p.m. to 11 p.m., Saturdays noon to 11 p.m., and Sundays noon to 5 p.m. to June 7 at Artisphere, 1101 Wilson Blvd., Arlington. Free. (703) 875-1100. artisphere.com.

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