Seen out of contextwithin the gallery’s whitewashed walls rather than on the lush green grounds of Vashon Island, Washington, where they were madeJulie Speidel’s twelve sculptures became exquisitely intricate abstractions and, with that, lost something of their larger meaning and purpose, if not their aesthetic magic. They were meant to be seats or resting places, according to the local Chamber of Commerce website, on “the little piece of paradise”a sort of hortus conclususthat is Vashon Island. The three boulder-like geometric objects in Otemma Glacier, 2016, were the exception that proved the rule. Amukta, Orenas, and Porirua, all 2017, were benches; the rest looked like stools (including Sanibel Bench, 2009, its name notwithstanding.) A particularly notable piece that showcased the sculptures’ double meaning as autonomous, abstract objects and familiar
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