Spreading fear and mayhem in the visual arts.

Madeline von Foerster and Benjamin A. Vierling at Roq la Rue, Seattle

by Suzanne on July 7th, 2011


The Tale of the Golden Toad by Madeline Von Foerster, oil and egg tempera on panel, 24" x 36" - click to enlarge

Madeline and Benjamin informed me about their upcoming twin exhibition which opens tomorrow evening at the glorious Roq la Rue in Seattle.

It's great to see a show with two artists who go absolutely perfectly together and manage to enhance each other's oeuvres magically.

For many moons, Madeline has shown an uncanny anachronistic skill to amalgamate Renaissance style with Wunderkammer fauna and flora and add a certain doll-like feel to her protagonists who always seem to contain a grain of Olimpia despite the lively shimmer and sumptuous richness of the pearls and silk.

And even though homines universales like Ole Worm, Albertus Seba and Ernst Haeckel would undoubtedly be collectors of her work if they were contemporaries, nothing ever looks dated. In The Tale of the Golden Toad, the details in the lace are just as fresh and youthful as the organic details under the glass dome.

There is something slightly unnerving about The Tale of the Golden Toad though - it's the moment you realise that the protagonist has actually become part of the Wunderkammer and - starting from her hands and just like Daphne, just like Francesca Woodman - seems to be turning into a display herself.

Vierling's artistic approach is just as epic if a bit more mythologically inclined. With intricately painted ornamental wooden frames containing grotesque scenes and tiny insects, he manages to create a multi-dimensional trompe-l'œil that's quite breathtaking.

Details below.


Medusa by Benjamin A. Vierling, egg tempera & oil on panel, 22" x 22", 2011 - click to enlarge

Opening reception: Friday, July 8, 6 - 9 PM, both artists will be in attendance

On show: Jul 8 - Aug 6, 2011

Address: Roq La Rue, 2312 2nd Ave, Seattle, WA 98121, USA, tel: (206) 374-8977 | Map

Opening hours: Wed - Sat: 1 - 6 PM

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