Summer days are dwindling but within the (very) green walls of 'The Plant Show', currently on view at 99¢ Plus Gallery, the vibrancy of the season remains on full-display. The exhibition is the second in a series held at the Brooklyn-based gallery exploring common household objects, the first being 'The Lamp Show', exhibited earlier this year and at Collective Design during New York Design Week.
Just like it’s predecessor, 'The Plant Show' brings together an eclectic group of artists and designers to redefine a banal object by responding to an open-ended prompt, to ‘make something that brings plant life into the home’.
‘The shows were born from our interest in how art objects can be brought to life through function, how presenting straightforward parameters gives artists the opportunity to play and explore how function is important to them,’ explains curator and co-director Simran Johnston.
The decision to focus on vessels for plant life was inspired by the gallery’s next-door neighbour – and official plant supplier – Florencia’s Flower Shop, after witnessing how the presence of a lush storefront can transform an entire city block through the daily presence of beauty and life. City-dwellers often have to seek out alternative ways of injecting nature into living spaces, and the range of work in the exhibition reflects that – with 23 artists on view, there are just as many interpretations of the initial concept.
Some have already been exploring the theme in their work – like Adam Frezza and Terri Chiao’s papier mâché plant forms. Others, like David Franklin’s Tentacle Table, which appropriates a standard Kohler sink in a fusion of function and art, and the textured Play-Doh aesthetic of Sean Gerstley's metallic funnel planter, approach it with fresh eyes and a range of perspectives from the literal to the conceptual. One thing is for sure though: each of the objects embodies its own distinct character – a quality we often overlook when we bring objects into our homes.