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Up the block from Jumbo’s Clown Room on Hollywood Boulevard, there is a special summer group show hiding amongst the jam-packed antiques and curiosities at Elsie’s Watch and Jewelry Repair. Organized by the newly formed Solar (Surrealists of the Los Angeles Region) the exhibition pits art against antiques in one big mashup of the weird, the shiny, and the meticulous.
In contrast to more common lo-fi exhibition venues (garages or apartments), the presentation of a contemporary sculpture exhibition within an antiques store is a welcome rejoinder. The context domesticates this group of modestly sized sculpture (a scale often lacking in sculptural exhibitions of late), allowing the medium an approachability that rivals that of wall-friendly painting.
The conceit of glass-enclosed artwork helps guide the viewer on a hunt to discover the works nestled throughout the store. Many of the pieces pay homage to their surrealist forebears, including Julio Panisello’s Julio’s Tea which serves a tea bag made of ‘100% Julio’s Hair’ a la Meret Oppenheim. Others, like Kim Tucker’s Self-Portrait: Saying Goodbye, embrace the freedom allowed by Surrealism’s dream-heavy underpinnings with singular weirdness. Solar’s embrace of the Surrealist ethos seems particularly apt in the golden age of zombie formalism, and the idiosyncratic nature of the works included is in turn heightened by the non-traditional exhibition venue.
See Through runs from August 1–31, 2015 at Elsie’s Watch and Jewelry Repair (5177 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90027)