Saul Chernick

Enlightened Objects

Soloway
348 South 4th Street
Brooklyn
Williamsburg
May 9th — Jun 20th

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InnerKiddo, founder of the Academy of Magical Thinking, teaches grown-ups to access their own inner children. Entering the back gallery of “Enlightened Objects” at Soloway is a start: the annex has been transformed into a magical menagerie of fake flowers, sheer cloths, butterflies, feathers, and a feeding cow, with an adorned spinning purple light as centerpiece.

Artist Saul Chernick would seem to need no such lessons. On view are a pair of squiggly polka-dotted creatures joined in a Matissean dance, their clear heads filled with baubles of quinoa, like an inspired mini-gumball dispenser. Elsewhere, paint palettes are re-filled with pans of popsicle-hued yellow, red, and blue clays, and fitted with marbles, stones, and plastic trinkets such as a pair of duck’s feet. It might not surprise a viewer to learn that Chernick’s work took a turn for the playful after he recently became a father—indeed, a pair of rock-embedded sculptures with mushroom-shaped heads and horse-like bodies look much like father and son. 

The most enigmatic, evocative, and familiar object on view is a dun-colored telephone with a coiled cord and cradle, covered with raised yellow runes: part ancient artifact, part futuristic gizmo, part playful reprisal of defunct object, re-infused with new meaning.

Saul Chernick, Untitled, 2020. Homemade sculpting compound, stones, armature, 10.5 x 9.5 x2 .75 inches.