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Fort Makers Presents:

The Artist-Run Design Studio Transforms Its New York Gallery

into a Greenhouse Featuring 40+ Sculptures by 40 Artists and Designers

On View September 25 – November 19, 2020

Left to Right: Kukuli Velarde & Doug Herren, Reciprocity 1 (2018). Didi Rojas, Had to do it to them (2020). Simone Bodmer-Turner, Planter I (2020). Trish Tillman, Companions (Green, Orange) (2019). Jessi Li, Thumbs-Up Planter (2020). Photo: Joe Kramm. Courtesy of the artists and Fort Makers.

(NEW YORK, NY — SEPTEMBER 18, 2020)Fort Makers is pleased to present The Planter Show, a group exhibition of sculptural planters, flower pots, and abstract containers in which plant life can grow, created by 40 contemporary artists and designers. Featuring over 40 works, the exhibition stems from humanity’s enduring effort to establish meaningful, nondestructive relationships with the natural world, and examines the power of the vessel as a sacred container and conceptual metaphor.

For The Planter Show, Fort Makers invited artists to mine various traditions and anomalies—from pre-Columbian Mesoamerican pottery to the more contemporary Chia Pet—and create sculptures that hold and sustain plant life. Each sculpture is approached holistically so that the planters and their corresponding plants compliment and complete each other—one part finite, the other living, wild and ever-changing. “As many artists have historically toyed with chance in their art-making, artists here add life as an unpredictable element in their work,” says Fort Makers Co-Founder and Creative Director Nana Spears. All sculptures will hold plants sourced in partnership with neighboring nursery and gardening store, Dahing Plants. The plants will be cared for by local plant doctor and consultant Maryah Greene, who will additionally host a virtual “Planting 101” workshop at Fort Makers.

“The exhibition is grounded in the personification of the vessel and the life form it houses as a single entity. Each planter is an idolized expression of our love for nature, and becomes a unique face with a tidy haircut or a wild beast with an unruly mane,” Spears continues. “Earlier this year, as we retreated into the privacy of our homes, many found themselves alienated from nature and newly tethered to domestic space. In our moment of seclusion, our plant collections become landscapes—each fern, palm, and succulent a sacred intermediary to the outside world.”

“A symbiotic relationship forms,” says Fort Makers Co-Founder Noah Spencer. “The plants purify the air, alleviate stress, and provide a mental escape, while we care for them, water them, and prune them. We may even sing to our plants, animate them, and consider them companions or friends.”

Participating artists include Simone Bodmer-Turner, BNAG (Oliver-Selim Boualam & Lukas Marstaller), Body Language Shop (Jackie Zdrojeski), Emilia Brintnall, Myagmarsuren Brown, Laura Chautin, Nicole Cherubini, Naomi Clark, Lauren Elder, Future Retrieval (Katie Parker & Guy Michael Davis), Joanne Greenbaum, Paula Greif, Samuel Harvey, Cody Hoyt, Elisabeth Kley, Janie Korn, Jessi Li, Rebecca Morgan, Harry Nuriev, William J. O'Brien, Diego Olivero, Scott Reeder, Tamika Rivera, Didi Rojas, Bruce M. Sherman, Keith Simpson, Farrah Sit & Joel Seigle, Noah Spencer, Joe Sturm, Shino Takeda, Astrid Terrazas, Trish Tillman, Uno+Ichi (Hana Ward), Kukuli Velarde & Doug Herren, Ivy Weinglass, and Arnie Zimmerman.

In seeking to diminish widespread community transmission of COVID-19 in New York City, Fort Makers and The Planter Show will be open to the public by appointment-only, and will necessarily modify its viewing standards in accordance with the social distancing regulations in place during the exhibition’s public dates. Allowing for multiple viewing perspectives and methods of engagement, Fort Makers will capitalize on its storefront windows in the exhibition’s design, and further augment The Planter Show with an online viewing room and web shop.

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