The Brooklyn Rail

FEB 2012

All Issues
FEB 2012 Issue


Installation view, Love Before Intimacy by Lola Schnabel. December 16th - February 4th, 2012, The Hole, 312 Bowery NYC. Courtesy The Hole.

Lola Montes Schnabel, "Exchange of Youth for Knowledge," 2011. Asphalt, plaster weld, copper plating solution, rabbit glue, and oil on linen. 84" x 120", 213 cm x 305 cm. Courtesy The Hole.

On View
The Hole
December 16, 2011 – February 4, 2012
New York

The paintings in Lola Montes Schnabel’s first solo exhibition are fitting allegories for the infiltration of spectacle into every sphere of contemporary existence. Five large-scale works in an unvaried palette depict youths who, if sexually innocent, have nevertheless learned the art of seductive posturing. In one painting, a hermaphroditic eromenos dons “Blue Steel” for a faceless beholder. In another, pinned and straddled, s/he gazes listlessly at the viewer, less pre-intimate than post-pharmaceutical, a poster-child for a generation preferring Prozac to sex. It’s unclear in this work whether the figure crouching cat-like above is fixated on her prey with arousal or contempt. Spectatorial ambivalence becomes a comment on viewers of the work, and voyeurism in general. The actual painting is subtly alluring.


David Markus

DAVID MARKUS is last child of Generation X. A disaffected critic and belle-lettrist, he resides in NYC.


The Brooklyn Rail

FEB 2012

All Issues