new-york

Clockwise from left: Christian Schad, Selbstbildnis (Self-portrait), 1927, oil on wood, 29 7/8 x 24 1/4“. Christian Schad, Schwestern (Sisters), ca. 1929, pen and ink on paper, 7 1/8 x 10
3/8”. Christian Schad, Liebende Knaben (Boys in love), 1929, silverpoint on paper, 11 3/4 x 9 1/4“. Christian Schad, Der Pfiff um die Ecke (Whistling round the corner), 1927, ink and watercolor on paper, 6 1/8 x 3 7/8”.

Christian Schad

Neue Galerie New York

Clockwise from left: Christian Schad, Selbstbildnis (Self-portrait), 1927, oil on wood, 29 7/8 x 24 1/4“. Christian Schad, Schwestern (Sisters), ca. 1929, pen and ink on paper, 7 1/8 x 10
3/8”. Christian Schad, Liebende Knaben (Boys in love), 1929, silverpoint on paper, 11 3/4 x 9 1/4“. Christian Schad, Der Pfiff um die Ecke (Whistling round the corner), 1927, ink and watercolor on paper, 6 1/8 x 3 7/8”.

Christian Schad’s self-portrait of 1927, included in curators Jill Lloyd and Michael Peppiatt’s large retrospective of the artist’s work at the Neue Galerie in New York, is a haunting image that—partly because of the picture surface’s seductive smoothness and partly due to the subject matter’s dreamlike perversity—persists in the mind’s eye long after the actual experience of viewing the painting. The artist sits in the foreground with uneasy authority. Behind him lies one of the century’s scariest female nudes, in harsh profile, dark-haired, hawk-nosed, her facial scar providing a kind of slant rhyme to the laced-up front of the artist’s skintight shirt. Far from being merely photographic or documentary, the painting is replete with preternaturally clear, fetishistic detail: the weird purple plaid of the quilt on which the couple have apparently just made love; the dirt under the

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