Harpo Foundation was pleased to support the production of new work by Lara Schnitger, on view at Sculpture Center from September 12 – November 29, 2010.

Lara Schnitger’s sculptures and installations draw from the polyglot of the contemporary urban landscape, referencing fashion, architecture, signage, and other aspects of the built environment. A self-described “restless spirit,” Schnitger has traveled extensively and lived for stretches of time in Holland, China, Japan, Czechoslovakia, Tibet, Mexico and the United States. She has adopted and adapted materials, techniques and formal strategies from all of these cultures.

Schnitger revels in the cultural medley that globalization has engendered. Collaging Chinese silks, checkered flannels, camouflage and advertising vinyl, Schnitger juxtaposes and layers the visual information these fabrics contain and highlights the difference in their production and their source. She speaks of Buddhist temples where Barbie dolls and Hello Kitty are left alongside ancient stone sculptures. Her work, Gridlock, for example, originally produced for Magasin 3 in Stockholm, was inspired by Japanese construction sites, Tibetan prayer flags, and American bumper stickers and was sewn by a friend in Mexico. Often imposing and even bordering on monumental, her work remains resolutely handmade, combining craft, decoration and domesticity. In many ways, Lara Schnitger’s work is a rebuttal to the notion of a global village. Visual information abounds in the electronic age, but reality, she asserts, is in materiality and our bodily experience of the world. There is an urgency in the work as if she wants to shock us out of the trance induced by life on planes, in front of screens and in the malls. Schnitger urges us towards a more intimate engagement with the world right around us. (Source: Sculpture Center grant proposal)