new-york

Lara Schnitger

Anton Kern Gallery

Spiderwebs of black nylon, made by tensing women’s hosiery over wooden chopsticks into interconnecting spiky snowflake forms, extended from floor to ceiling in Lara Schnitger’s latest show, partitioning the gallery and screening the objects. The look was equal parts Halloween decoration and s/m gear, but both fast proved red herrings; this is her mildest work in years. Instead of the rowdy patchwork sculptures for which Schnitger is best known, the bulk of the exhibition comprised mixed-media textile paintings, and her previous sexual and political frankness has been traded for signs of snug domesticity. The raunch factor has not evaporated, but for every quasi-pornographic pose one found a woman lounging around with a cat or taking care of a child.

A new formal sophistication is in the bargain. Tamer turns out also to mean subtler, and often more interesting: The spatial dynamics that

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