GROUND LEVEL, GALLERY 1
THE NETHERLANDS, BORN 1969
LIVES AND WORKS IN LOS ANGELES AND AMSTERDAM
Lara Schnitger has created the new immersive installation House of heroines for the 2020 NGV Triennial. The large-scale sculptural installation will comprise a textile frieze and a series of sculptural columns entitled The squad. Quilted sequinned fabric panels will wrap around the walls of the gallery space in the manner of an ancient Grecian frieze, with Schnitger’s drawings and text etched into the two-tone fabric. The four columns will recall the caryatids of ancient temple architecture which use the female body as a structural form. Hanging from the ceiling these forms – made from a timber skeleton underlying a fabric skin – are abstract yet suggestive of sensual and active bodily shapes.
This work will extend the themes of feminist representation that underpin Schnitger’s practice. The artist often uses materials traditionally associated with female labour to explore the boundaries of socially accepted femininity and the aspects of this regarded as obscene or taboo. Drawing on the representation of women in ancient architecture, this new work reflects contemporary expressions of women’s voice, sexuality and agency.
Lara Schnitger is a Dutch-American artist who studied at C.C.A., Kitakyushu, Japan; Ateliers 63, Amsterdam; Academie Vyvarni Umeni, Prague; and the Royal Academy of Art, The Hague. Her work has been shown internationally at museums including Kunsthaus Dresden; FRAC Champagne-Ardenne, Rheims; Museum Het Domein, Sittard; Kunstwerke, Berlin; the UCLA Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; P.S. 1 Contemporary Art Center, New York; the Power Plant, Toronto; and the Royal Academy in London, among others. Schnitger participated in the Liverpool Biennial in 1999 and the Shanghai Biennial in 2002. In 2019 she was commissioned to make public artworks for The Chelsea Highline and Hudson Yards, and Sydney Laneway Projects in 2018. Schnitger’s work is held in numerous public and private collections throughout Europe and the United States.