The Rose Garden
Ever Gold Projects, San Francisco, November 9 – December 21, 2019
Ever Gold [Projects] presents The Rose Garden, a solo exhibition by Ariane Vielmetter. In new paintings, drawings, and sculptures, Vielmetter explores representations of the female body in relation to fruits and flowers, and the ways these visual metaphors relate to lived experience. The female body, as a vessel for new life, is a natural structure for this kind of projection, and Vielmetter is particularly interested in the way this kind of imagery relates to the experiences of pregnant women. In a culture overloaded with information about best health practices, and a political climate that is very unpredictable with regards to women’s rights, the pregnant body has become an increasingly political site.
The visual conflation of the botanical and the anatomical has both a long history and a strong contemporary presence. In an artist book Vielmetter will release in conjunction with her exhibition, she notes an example of this: an iPhone app that informs pregnant women of the approximate size of their developing babies in relation to fruits and vegetables. A baby, according to the app, might grow from the size of a mango at week 19, to a banana at week 20, to a cantaloupe at week 26. In her exhibition, as in her book, the artist weaves the personal, historical, and political together in a manner that is both organic and associative. She moves seamlessly from images and anecdotes from her garden, to paintings by Paula Modersohn Becker and writings by Joan Didion, and back again. At the heart of it all, however, is a contemplation about the potential for things to be at their prime the moment before they begin to fall apart. Whether it is considered through the meticulous rendering of a persimmon, a fruit that is practically inedible until it is on the cusp of rotting, or in the context of having a child in the face of irreversible climate change, this potential is The Rose Garden’s central meditation.