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Tripoli Gallery
980 Madison Avenue, 3rd Floor
New York, NY
RSVP elisa@nadinejohnson.com

Tripoli Gallery is pleased to announce an exhibition by Lola Montes Schnabel entitled Within Reach. Tripoli Gallery will open the New Year with a pop-up gallery space at 980 Madison Avenue, on the 3rd Floor, where Ms Schnabel will debut her most recent paintings with an opening reception from 6 to 8pm on January 16th.

In Within Reach, Lola explores the most primal and paradoxical human instincts, the desire to be boundless. The series of oil paintings and watercolors evoke oceanic realms whose landscapes and figures remain ceaselessly ephemeral yet always connected, bound by a kindred condition. As one painting leads to the next, landmasses morph into figures and a progression is revealed. The paintings become discoveries and dictate their own development. Her deliberate choice of medieval yellow and crimson, consistent in all of her paintings, construct a mise-en-scène in which her changing forms interact to tell a story. Her paintings are frozen vignettes in time that speak to Lola’s strong background in filmmaking.

Captured in the imagery of the series Within Reach, are glimpses of the struggling subconscious. Submerged primordial visions are illuminated and dreams made real, shapes regress to abstraction and colors are rediscovered in their elemental vibrancy. “Looking at a painting presents a chance to stop thinking,” Lola explains, “you enter an unknown space that eventually belongs to you. Without taking a step forward you are transported to a plateau or an arena, an invented place where the artist lives. These are landscapes of a new nature or of the very first piece of ground we found beneath our feet, a place we have no documentation of.”

Lola’s treatment of this dynamic can be at once intensely personal and also playful, occasionally even ironic. She portrays the areal complexities of water with the languid strokes and murky lyricism of a dream. In these liminal worlds, individual elements long to absorb the larger spaces they inhabit, and yet attempt to elude the wholeness in which they exist. Lola explains that her amorphous red skies are inspired by the title “Red Desert”, an Antonioni film.

In the painting “Neither Here Nor There”, the figure hesitates at the foot of a field, torn between unknown fears and fascinations, paralyzed by and drawn into the very wilderness that seems to underscore the series of paintings as a whole. Is this an abyss, another world, an experience beyond our grasp, or is it within reach?

Lola Montes Schnabel graduated with a BFA from the Cooper Union in 2008. Her work spans various media including film, photography, printmaking, and painting. She has exhibited her work locally and internationally; Within Reach will be her eighth show with Tripoli Patterson since 2005.

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