Upon entering the exhibition oysters naturel at Veronica, - a new artist run space in Seattle founded by Michael Van Horn, Elizabeth Abrahamson and Sol Hashemi -, one come across Anne Fenton’s frail mother of pearl-ish quasi-sphere made of two parts that simultaneously - and brightly- calls the container and the contained. The sculpture bears some secrecy too, being made of gum paste, monkshood and several other plants and homeopathic remedies, that remain imperceptible. Imperceptible too is the sculpture made of ice and botanical material by Jueqian (Ripple) Fang that melted on a hot Seattle evening August 12th.
There is an organic yet rigorous fluidity in this show. References to the oyster as shell, closed space, texture, food, a certain quality of light - as pointed in a text that accompanies the show- are abundant in the exhibition: It is the flabby looking, solid casted plaster gem like sculptures by Francesca Lohmann, it is Jason Hirata’s appealing menu posted on the space’s window, certainly confusing the passerby, or Matt Browning’s hand woven dark gray - though subtly colorful when you get closer- fabric folded in an almost square, or Elias Hansen’s green lighted assemblage made of blown and cold formed glass and metal sticks and objects on shelves.
But oysters naturel, a redundant title, seemingly perfect for a Seattle summer exhibition -oysters abound in the region and have been consumed for centuries -, also evokes Shakespeare’s verse “Why then the world's mine oyster” - The Merry Wives of Windsors -.The space itself works as a container for this group of Pacific Northwest artists, letting perspire the affinities between them, the dialogues, their world, natural and/or naturel, that is to say, unadulterated and unaffected.