Photo Credit: Ben Hoffman. Curtesy of R/SF Projects.
R/SF projects is thrilled to present PREMIUM EMPORIUM, a solo show of new works by Israeli-born, San Francisco-based artist Hadar Kleiman. A palatial tour de force of opulent textures and glinting façades, PREMIUM EMPORIUM weaves a beguiling tale of high and low culture through the deconstructed psychological narratives of isolated imageries.
Culling influence from gilded mall lobbies and the banal yet subliminal figurations of airport flooring as much as the optically disorienting carpets of Las Vegas casinos, Kleiman cheekily gestures toward faux authenticity while spotlighting what latent (mis)information frequently underlies our urban environments. Through reappropriating iconic material elements of such locales (columns, floral arrangements, even pyramids) and manipulating their particularities, Kleiman successfully catalyzes processes of contextualization to fabricate a sort of analytical vacuum—a systemic probing of perception, unveiling of absurdity, and formalist rebirth.
Splayed across the gallery’s two levels and rendered in Kleiman’s installational proclivity, the exhibition reads like a smattering of elaborate set designs or walk-in dioramas, each their own maquette of simulated reality. Her arsenal of unassuming media runs the gamut from nail polish and plastic laminate to silk fabric and brass trim to emulate opulence through alchemic sleights of hand. The veritable pièce de résistance of the exhibition, Mall Wall (2016), erects a monolithic faux-marble storefront spanning a whopping 8.25 x 6 x 9 feet. Its illuminated display is replete with a faux marble torso, Borax-concocted ‘crystal’ skull, and miscellaneous found paraphernalia, evoking Dutch nature morte still lifes as much as it might point to the musings of Hirst. And finally, in Terrazzo Diamond (Pink), Terrazzo Diamond (Blue), and Terrazzo Diamond (Green) (all 2017), each of three hand-crafted terrazzo wall works recall the opulence of mosaic handiwork, but also the XXX insignia of a winning slot machine gamble.