Zoe McGuire in the studio
Photo by PD Rearick
Library Street Collective is thrilled to announce Earthshine, Zoe McGuire’s first exhibition in Detroit, opening on May 6th, 2023. Inspired by nature, music, and mysticism, McGuire creates surreal landscapes that hum with a range of vibrant colors and nuanced tonal scales. For the exhibition, the artist will present a new series of paintings, including some of the largest she has created to date, that represent nature’s inherent spirituality and marvel at the evolution of human consciousness.
Existing at the intersection of art, science and spirituality, the featured body of work is a culmination of McGuire’s research and considerations of the trinity of the earth, the moon and the sun in relation to the origins of life. Earthshine is a term used to describe the moon’s ashen glow, an illumination caused by sunlight reflecting off of the earth’s surface; this natural phenomenon inspired the colors and forms that occupy each canvas. Visually, Red Giant champions McGuire’s efforts of honoring the power of the sun in particular, its depiction of an incandescent, ruby orb igniting a palpable sense of heat. Curious about ancient sun systems and their role in informing humans’ inner realities, McGuire uses members of her immediate family as a means of entering a realm that operates between science and spirituality and acknowledges their inextricable link: “I’m mesmerized by the transference of consciousness on a cellular level from parent to child, or even in the case of my sister, who was adopted, her consciousness and mine have bridged, and united through love and experience, and ultimately represents the webbed connection of our entire species where individuals are just nodes.” Associative and intuitive, the paintings are not portraits, but rather energetic representations of ancestral lines intended to spark conversations about DNA and the progression of being at the hands of the natural world.
In crafting a formal analysis of the paintings with regard to their conceptual framework, McGuire notes how designing a painting is, too, a force powered by sun in all respects of the process. Light, color and her own energy that enables the action of producing a brushstroke, along with the visual gifts of beauty that the sun has crafted, are prominently integrated into the work. Iconography is pulled from different epochs and cultures to influence the biomorphic forms, which McGuire then arranges in an architectural fashion to build out the compositions, notably driven by the desire to reclaim the concept of design as a painter. With a practice that is primarily guided by ongoing research and source material, the paintings themselves come to life in a conversely intuitive manner; science is utilized as a means of connecting elements of the world, and painting then becomes a metaphorical manifestation of those empirical notions.
Significant to note, McGuire’s dreamlike interpretations of the natural atmospheres are not rooted in time or place. It is essential that the energy of the sun, the moon and of life are conveyed rather than representing their image in all its accuracy, prompting an evocative viewer experience that can generate a reminder of the common biological, ancestral, and structural threads of humankind.
Zoe McGuire: Earthshine is on view from May 6th through June 24th, 2023 at Library Street Collective.
Sea Wall, 2023
Oil on canvas
84h x 168w in