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Julian Schnabel: Paintings that I hope Philip and David would like at The Glass House

The Glass House presents Julian Schnabel: “Paintings that I hope Philip and David would like,” an intimate survey showcasing Julian Schnabel’s prolific painting career. Over the course of the exhibition period, the Painting Gallery panels will rotate three times to present paintings selected by the artist. Each rotation will feature six works from different periods of the artist’s career.

Wax Paintings from the 1970s will be on view from May 1st to June 5th. Gathered from private collections, this rotation offers a glimpse into Schnabel’s early investigations into painting. The six works on display at the Glass House were all created before his first solo exhibition in New York City at Mary Boone Gallery in 1979. These works reveal themes that permeate throughout the artist’s oeuvre. Upon close examination, the pearlescent layers of wax and modeling paste reveal the hand of the artist, who was building up the surface to accept his own version of a new painted language. Schnabel also notched into the surface of his paintings and built out of the surface to further illustrate the notion of time passing as it does. The titles of several of these early works – Accattone, Procession (for Jean Vigo), Shoeshine (for Vittorio de Sica) indicate a strong interest in European cinema, hinting at the artist’s future development as a filmmaker.

The second rotation, Paintings after 2000, on view from June 8th to July 10th, feature works from the artist’s collection from different series: Nothing Paintings, Weather Paintings and Landscape Paintings. The Nothing Paintings were made on images printed on polyester. The Landscape Paintings were made on found materials bought in Mexico. Reminiscent of aerial photography, the Weather Paintings are mysterious images photographically printed as an aerial view of the land, creating a disorienting sense of sight so that the viewer feels suspended above rather than being on the ground.

The third and last rotation, Paintings from the 1980s and 1990s, feature works from the Glass House’s Permanent Collection. Collected by both Philip Johnson and David Whitney, these works are on view from July 13th to August 14th.

Julian Schnabel (b. 1951, Brooklyn, New York) is known for his multidisciplinary practice that extends beyond painting to include sculpture and film. His use of preexisting materials not traditionally used in art making, varied painting surfaces and modes of construction were pivotal in the reemergence of painting in the United States. Resisting the turn to traditional conventions of painting and sculpture that characterized the 1980s, he began his series of Plate Paintings, imagic works with sculptural surfaces produced by layering shards of found pottery with thick applications of pigment. Throughout his career, he has sustained his use of found materials and chance-based processes, transforming the conventions of painting and opening the door for a new generation of young artists.

Left: Accattone, 1978. Oil, wax, modeling paste on canvas. 84 x 72 in. Right: Jack the Bellboy / A Season in Hell, 1975. Joint compound, Rhoplex, oil, plaster, wire mesh on canvas. 72 x 48 in. Photo by Andy Romer.