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Einstein on the shelf

Matt Lipps' photographs always have remarkably vivid backgrounds, and his new series is no exception. Teals and crimsons with abstract patterns or fabriclike folds grab your eye, but in his current show at Marc Selwyn, the images that appear in front of those backgrounds are more subdued. You see black-and-white Albert Einstein from the neck up, unsmiling Marlene Dietrich, the crying accordion player photographed the day of FDR's funeral, all on glass shelves alongside similarly themed images and all propped up like paper dolls. The effect of seeing these iconic figures and moments arranged like decorative objects, put in their place, is unsettling: Is it really this easy to make history look safe and tidy? 6222 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire; through Dec. 22. (323) 933-9911, marcselwynfineart.com.
Tuesdays-Saturdays. Starts: Nov. 9. Continues through Dec. 14, 2013

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