Henry Art Gallery
Northeast Seattle, Seattle

  • 1025212

North Galleries July 23, 2022January 08, 2023 This exhibition of moving image installations, drawn from the Henry collection, spans a wide range of style and conceptual approaches. The title references Kurt Vonnegut’s seminal anti-war novel Slaughterhouse-Five, a non-linear, meta-fictional narrative in which the protagonist struggles to come to terms with the devastating realities of human existence. The author poses fundamental questions that we must all combat, ever more so in the present moment in history. How do we deal with tragedy and pain? How do we explain it? Can we prevent it? Are there laws to life, and if so, do humans have any say in what these are? Does free will even exist?ARTISTS: Lutz Bacher Sue de Beer Candice Breitz Nay land Blake Guy Ben-Ner Slater Bradley Dora García Rashid Johnson Shirin Neshat Kaari Upson Gillian Wearing

“And I asked myself about the present: how wide it was, how deep it was, how much was mine to keep.”


Both satirical and yet deeply moving, the title phrase is imagined as the character’s epitaph and summarizes the contradictions of his individual experience as well as the fragile concurrence of our collective existence: it is both impossibly false and yet deeply true. everything was beautiful, and nothing hurt. thus references a common thread running throughout this exhibition— the frailty, trauma, loss, and cruelty of the human condition that nonetheless is girded by an irrepressible desire for beauty, love, and connection. Via a myriad of formats and approaches, the artists in the exhibition suggest that we, as human beings, are ultimately responsible to acknowledge the heart-wrenching truth of life and still strive to create meaning within it.


everything was beautiful, and nothing hurt. is organized by Shamim M. Momin, Director of Curatorial Affairs. Support for this exhibition is provided by a gift from Charlotte Feng Ford. Media sponsorship provided by The Stranger.

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