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The Soft Shoe, the second exhibition at the recently opened Rainbow in Spanish, has a wryly composed press release—placed within it are lyrics lifted from the Gram Parsons song “The New Soft Shoe,” above smaller pieces of text that originate from a damning real estate inspection report. This oddly agreeable pairing sets an ambiguous tone that parallels the unfettered dialogues within the show itself.
Snugly commingling five L.A.-based artists, The Soft Shoe situates itself in the sculptural arena, though only four of the show’s nine works officially reside in the form. The trimmed paper edges of Jeff Ono’s collages, for instance, spatially commune with Neal Bashor’s vibrant sculptures, which almost overpower the installation. While Bashor’s works assertively command space, Lisa Lapinski’s Holly Hobby Lobby (2016) and Noam Rappaport’s Untitled (2015-16) are reticently energetic.
The show’s figurative outlier, a whimsical yet haunting self-portrait by Dianna Molzan, delivers a red-faced Dianna gazing through tacked-on plastic glasses. The construction cryptically adds to the assemblage conversation at hand, but also echoes the porous sentiments of the press release, which loosely posit that it’s not the task of the creator to explain, but rather the responsibility of the audience to engage. With this, the exhibition’s goal to establish relevant, meaningful exchanges in lieu of a burdensome academic theme was met. Indeed, The Soft Shoe doesn’t force any ideas, and that’s just fine.
The Soft Shoe runs from August 28-September 30, 2016 at Rainbow in Spanish (3401 Union Pacific Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90024).