On Tuesday, November 29, 2016, Ileana Tounta Contemporary Art Center presents Texting Spirits, the first solo show in Greece by American artist Lola Montes Schnabel (New York 1981), curated by artist Dimitrios Antonitsis. The show will run until 28th January 2017.
The exhibition is an essay on the metaphysics of objects, the aesthetic sense of art, and the rarefaction of sensory perception to the point where art reaches its essential and definitive dimension beyond the visual.
Schnabel presents a series of large scale paintings, two video projections and a body of watercolor drawings. As the artist states: I've always done filmmaking and painting simultaneously; they are connected. Sometimes I'll make a film to conceive one image that didn't exist before, then the image becomes a painting. There's a process to all of this and I'm interested in all of the layers – if I hadn't made that one camera frame then these paintings wouldn't exist. Every idea deserves a different medium to illustrate it best.
Schnabel's exhibition is mainly concerned with the study of an unreal and Arcadian nature, where the human figure is rarely present, unless at a level of an archetypical consciousness. Her canvases translate as visions of nature in various moods: on this base she paints elements as the ancient olive trees so ethereal and detached from representation. Like details in some backgrounds in Renaissance paintings, magnified, where the spiritual dominates the narrative.
It is in her films though that the poetry and the purity of her sprit becomes most visible: a man running in a snow landscape in an endless effort to reach a world that perhaps goes beyond the limits of the senses (Rishi Running, 2004). A Dialogue Between Spirit And Nature, 2011 demonstrates her multifarious practice encompassing a variety of disciplines, bringing music (Charlemagne Palestine), sculpture (Luigi Ontani), dance, and theater (masks by Balinese naive artists) into contact with rituals and liturgies, which Schnabel intuitively orchestrates. Like in hypnotic tunes, where new ways of juxtapositions bring together unconventional and heterogeneous materials into a revelation of the soul.
As Antonitsis emphasizes: There is no crack in Lola's song, nor in the joy of her listeners.