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Exhibit: Estrano - Stranger Things

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The strangeness of everyday objects provides endless fascination for artists. This experience of unsettling familiarity—or what Sigmund Freud called “the uncanny”—has taken many forms throughout history. The Greeks and Romans painted murals of windows and hallways to expand their rooms, a technique later known as tromp-l’oeil from the French term meaning to deceive the eye. In one legend, the painter Zeuxis (b. 464 BCE) was rumored to have produced a likeness of grapes so disturbingly realistic that birds would peck at its surface.

The strangeness of objects, however, is not limited to illusion. In the 20th century, surrealists seized upon the psychological charge of everyday objects to unleash the power of repressed impulses and the unconscious. The Comte de Lautréamont’s “chance meeting on a dissecting table of a sewing machine and an umbrella” is emblematic of the potential of objects to evoke the absurd through unexpected juxtapositions. Today, artists draw on these approaches and many others to continue mining the poetic capacity of the objects around them. This exhibition of selections from the LUAG Teaching Museum collection includes works by Al Erdosy, Thomas Nonn, Gladys Triana, Emilio Sanchez, Luis Mallo, and William J. Kelly.