LOLA MONTES SCHNABEL Love Before Intimacyby David Markus
THE HOLE | DECEMBER 16, 2011 – FEBRUARY 4, 2012
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.