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May 9 - June 20, 2021

Enlightened Objects

Sculptures by Saul Chernick and collaborative installation with InnerKiddo




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Sculptures by Saul Chernick + Collaborative installation with InnerKiddo

May 9 - June 20, 2021
Artist Reception: Sunday, May 9, 3:00–5:30 p.m.
Performance by InnerKiddo: Sunday, May 23 at 8:00 p.m.

There’s no getting around how good Saul Chernick’s Enlightened Objects look. They are a surprise party. They’re just what we always wanted.  

And in this startled confusion of joy, things are rearranged.  The astonishment of the unexpected is somehow superseded by the feeling of an anticipated pleasure. These objects simultaneously generate and satisfy a desire as particular as a fixation, and this tripped sequence becomes an event. It sparks and reiterates, like a fireworks display.

The work is both naïve and perverse, at once, unrefined and ornate.  But the apparent decoration is, in fact, structural.  Out of this fusion of the accidental and the essential, of a language and the meanings it elaborates, new figures sprout: generative compulsions, fertile preoccupations.  Like porn or a joke, this formalism in pursuit of pleasure disentangles from the anxiety of interpretation and becomes a magical device, a spell, effecting response by means of composition.  It exits the discourse for other engagements.

The found elements are a discursive break, a direct address. They’re talking straight to the camera.  They are so recognizable as to become our own.  But their incorporation betrays an unreasonable equanimity of valuation, an alien assessment.  There is no object more familiar than this particular telephone.  It is our family phone, from the table in the hall. And here we encounter it, as if reproduced in a museum on another planet, its intricate inaccuracies betraying that it was reconstructed in absolute ignorance, not as a cultural artifact, but as an instance of formal perfection. This is not recontextualization, it is a collapsed binary, and again, this coupling of two poles, makes for a super charged object, like a battery.

It is out of extravagant elaborations, meticulous fantasies, and a lack of all proportion, that Saul Chernick has generated these Enlightened Objects.  They can be used as domestic power sources, as kitchen table idols, as psychic projectors. They are to decorate our dream house, and by decorate, he means make possible.  

They are for us.

Collaborative installation with InnerKiddo

In coordination with the exhibition, artist InnerKiddo will be establishing an outpost for his ongoing, interdisciplinary project, The Academy of Magical Thinking.  This iteration of The Academy will incorporate Chernick’s sculptures into an installation and series of live and recorded performances, in Soloway's rear gallery.  In the spaces fashioned by InnerKiddo, décor becomes a mystical practice and getting dressed is an experiment.  InnerKiddo is a character that is both the architect and the invention of these environments.  He moves and performs in these scenes, with a vulnerability that is both inviting and subversive.  For this installation, Chernick and InnerKiddo have formed a synthesis of their deeply personal aesthetics. The collaboration is reciprocal.  In The Academy of Magical Thinking, Chernick’s Enlightened Objects find a setting that suits them, both dazzling and domestic.  In return, InnerKiddo’s ingenious inquiries transform the sculptures into instruments of the unknown.

Written by Jenny Nichols, Co-Director, Soloway


Saul Chernick (BFA, RISD & MFA, Rutgers) has exhibited in numerous galleries, museums, and cultural institutions including the Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art, the Bronx Museum of Art, the Jewish Museum, the Lower East Side Printshop, Rush Arts Gallery, Senior & Shopmaker Gallery. He has had solo exhibitions at Soloway Gallery, Max Protech Gallery, Franklin Art Works, La Montagne Gallery, and NURTUREart. He lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.

InnerKiddo (@innerkiddo on Instagram) graduated from the University of his Imagination in 2018. In 2020, Kiddo founded the Academy of Magical Thinking, which is a space created to help grownups connect with their inner child through creative play dates.