Commonly evoked in her works, but rarely made explicit, the ocean is an organizing thematic for this show that focuses on a selection of her sculptures from 2000 onwards.
A mysterious underworld with its beaches populated by sun-seeking vacationers, these two opposing sides of the sea—as sun-filled and leisurely in contrast to the dark, deep, and unknown—operate as a metaphor in much of von Bonin's work. Manifested through sculptures of creatures like lobsters and sharks, as well as large bikinis and lifeguard stands, the exhibition investigates this thread through von Bonin's work.
Von Bonin's cast of textile characters included in the exhibition present a host of contradictions—approachable creatures that aren't quite what they seem or behaving as we might expect. Weaving together humor with melancholy, softness with hardness, access and exclusion, von Bonin's sculptures mix with art history, popular culture, music, and craft, while engaging in feminist destabilizations. Appropriately, the deep sea—where von Bonin's crew ventures—is its own world, little known and remote for us.