Corner of Walker & Lafayette
On view 24/7
December 31, 2020
Anton Kern Gallery is pleased to present two special installations by Matthew Monahan and Lara Schnitger at WINDOW.
“Like the cloud of starlings that swells and buckles in fantastic shapes, the crowd is dynamic, responsive, even aesthetically pleasing; however, beneath the thrilling patterns, there lies a queasy osmosis...the absorption of the individual and thus the cessation of personal vision.” – Dustin Illingworth
Matthew Monahan, known for his intensely rendered individuals, singular faces and masks, debuts a new series of unique works on paper exploring the multiplicity of the crowd; a subject that has taken on new relevance in a time of isolation and social unrest.
To become a part of the crowd, the individual figure has to give up its details. It has to become a silhouette in order to merge with the larger body of the crowd. It forfeits the details of selfhood, but in this great shifting mass of limbs, it gains greater power and a will of its own, an energy passed like sparks in a fire.
Using self-made rubber stamps, Monahan builds up the image with repeated silhouettes, a motif that plays out with great rhythmic variation and movement. Multiplying his figures across the paper, he orchestrates an energetic narrative space popping with graphic power, but haunted by disorder and violence. Mysterious groupings gather force and lay claim to a stark landscape, both vast and barricaded. Roving packs, stand-offs, witnesses and victims bought together, preparing for fight or flight.
91 Walker Street
Lara Schnitger presents an installation of quilts created between 2015 - 2020, including her latest piece emblazoned with the slogan: “Booty For Biden”, echoing YouTube star Tana Mongeau’s instructions: Please vote for Joe!!! (Mongeau’s provocative quid-pro-quo entails sending a nude picture of herself in return for proof of voting for Joe Biden ;)
Schnitger’s quilts are multi-purpose. In addition to static display, they are designed in such a way that they can be be packed efficiently for travel, attached to wooden dowels and carried through the streets as part of Suffragette City, the artist’s hybrid procession-protest piece, which has been staged in cities across the world, spreading a message of female empowerment. Iterations of Suffragette City have been performed in the streets of cities around the world, including Basel, Berlin, Los Angeles, New York, Paris, Dresden, Melbourne, and outside the White House in D.C. during the Women’s March of 2016.
The brightly colored quilts are emblazoned with protest slogans culled from t-shirts, bumper stickers and buttons, such as “Green Not Greed”, “Be The Walker, Not The Dog”, and “All Of Us”! Suspended from the ceiling at varying heights, the quilts’ overlapping fabrics and messages blend together like a crowd of voices chanting rallying cries in this precarious political moment.