AMSTERDAM.- Annet Gelink Gallery
is presenting 16 Nipples in the afternoon Lara Schnitgers first solo exhibition at the gallery.
With her practice, Lara Schnitger (1969, Haarlem, NL) pushes the expressive power of traditional crafts. Crossing the terrain of installation, sculpture, fashion, architecture, and collage, Schnitger does not confine herself to one modus operandi. This continual elastic movement stretches categories and materials to their breaking points. Works seek variable dimension, filling an entire space while resisting to become site-specific. Renowned for her large-scale sculptures, which feature a wide variety of textiles drawn taut over seemingly haphazard wooden armatures, Schnitger plays with tension, identity, social engagement, and femininity. Techniques like dying, quilting, weaving, and sewing are reinforced by appropriated slogans that unapologetically speak to the viewer. Through sharp irony, Schnitger deliberately evokes women's stereotypes through explicit figures and images.
In 16 Nipples in the afternoon sculptures, collages, and paintings take the stage in the main space. Based on a 4th century sculpture, the voodoo-looking figure of16 Nipples are Enough becomes one with the sexual catchphrases written on the fabric. Through this act, its erotism is directly translated into humorous amplifications. Drawing from the tradition of feminist agitprop, Schnitger wittingly integrates literal and figurative in a fine balance of powerful aesthetics. The selected feminist slogans within fabric rise from sentiments of protest, empowerment, and desire.
Central in the exhibition are the Slut-Sticks, poles with arrayed lingerie and other textiles. Inspired by the SlutWalk movements protest marches, the sticks were originally created for Schnitgers ongoing performance processions Suffragette City. During the demonstrations, the artist and groups of volunteers march in different cities around the world, carrying Slut-Sticks, quilts, and sculptures. Echoing historical feminists philosophies, Sufragette City and its Slut-Sticks directly engage with politics. In the gallery context, the Slut-Sticks take a new form as static sculptures within the formal space.
Through her work, Schnitger creates and maintains a fine balance between literal and figurative, art and protest, sculpture, and body. The mimicking of female sexuality and body playfully interact with what is deemed to be the accepted representation of women in a patriarchist society. In so doing, Lara Schnitger conveys an understanding that holds an enduring message as well as resonance.
Lara Schnitger (1969, Haarlem, NL) is a Dutch American sculptor and painter, living and working in Los Angeles and Amsterdam. Schnitger's work has been shown internationally at galleries and museums such as the High Line in New York (2019), the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles (2016), The Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles (2011), Sonsbeeck Arnhem (2008), the New Museum in New York (2007), the National Museum of Contemporary Art in Oslo (2007), Magasin 3 in Stockholm (2005), the Chinese European Art Center in Xiamen (2002), the Santa Monica Museum of Art (2001) and the Stedelijk Museum (1995). Her work is part of the collections of Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, The Saatchi Gallery, London, Perez Art Museum, Miami, Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh.