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JULIAN SCHNABEL (B. 1951)
PROPERTY FROM THE COLLECTION OF LORD AND LADY JACOBS
JULIAN SCHNABEL (B. 1951)

Corinne

Details
JULIAN SCHNABEL (B. 1951)
Corinne
signed, titled and dated 'Corinne Julian 1987' (on the reverse)
oil, bondo and ceramic plates mounted on panel
73 x 60 ¾ x 7 3/8in. (185.4 x 154.6 x 18.5cm.)
Executed in 1987
Provenance
Galerie Bruno Bischofberger, Zurich.
Acquired from the above by Lord and Lady Jacobs in 1987.

Lot Essay

‘When I did the plate paintings’, Schnabel explains, ‘I wanted to break the surface of the painting and I liked the dissonance between the brightness of the plates and the other parts of the picture’
(J. Schnabel, quoted in Julian Schnabel: Versions of Chuck & Other Works, exh. cat., Schloss Derneburg, Derneburg, 2007, p. 195).


Executed in 1987, Corinne is a definitive example of Julian Schnabel’s celebrated Plate series. Throwing dishes at the monumental canvas and fixing them in their respective states with an unsparing forthrightness, Schnabel creates a fragmented topographical site on which he paints the powerful and expressive portrait of a woman. Schnabel’s portraits are based on friends and family, whom he paints from memory: ‘I liked the idea of painting from life and not from a photograph, the fact that I painted from life was actually what made the picture into a picture and not simply a description of something that I could see’ (J. Schnabel, quoted in C. Ratcliff, ‘Interview with Julian Schnabel’, in Julian Schnabel, exh. cat., Fundacio Joan Miro, Barcelona, 1995, p. 93). Radically challenging the taut and pristine surfaces of Minimalism, the domineering movement of the 1980s, Corinne displays Schnabel’s radical pictorial innovation.

With the Plate paintings, Schnabel dramatically challenged the depiction of space and the two-dimensional picture plane in the spirit of Pablo Picasso, Kurt Schwitters and Robert Rauschenberg. While bringing to mind Daniel Spoerri’s tableaux pieges (trap pictures) from the 1960s, the ground of dazzling broken shards more specifically testifies to a destructive gesture that recalls Jackson Pollock’s energetic splattering of paint on canvas. As Max Hollein argues, ‘The fragmentary quality of these paintings… imbues Schnabel’s paintings with an inherently enigmatic, enchanted quality… We respond to these fragments of a commonplace product with an entirely new set of expectations and immediately begin to look for the inherent historical quality, the act that preceded their final existence as shards’ (M. Hollein, ‘The Works and Their Viewers,’ in Julian Schnabel – Paintings 1978-2003, exh. cat., Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt, 2004, pp. 39-40).

Inspired by pre-Modernist painting, ancient mosaics and the decorative architecture of Antonio Gaudi seen during extended trips to Europe in the mid-1970s, Schnabel created his first Plate paintings in 1978 and shortly after exhibited them in his infamous inaugural solo show at the Mary Boone Gallery in 1979. As Schnabel relayed, ‘I have felt a kind of affinity and an interest in old Italian painting… There is a level of synaesthesia where all the different senses are mixed together that gives you an experience that I’m interested in finding in my own paintings’ (J. Schnabel, quoted in Julian Schnabel: Versions of Chuck & Other Works, exh. cat., Schloss Derneburg, Derneburg, 2007, p. 195). The condition of ‘synaesthesia’ is invoked by the opulent, multi-layered and jagged texture of Schnabel’s plate paintings that invite the viewer to linger and revel. ‘When I did the plate paintings’, Schnabel explains, ‘I wanted to break the surface of the painting and I liked the dissonance between the brightness of the plates and the other parts of the picture’ (J. Schnabel, quoted in Julian Schnabel: Versions of Chuck & Other Works, exh. cat., Schloss Derneburg, Derneburg, 2007, p. 195).

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