PRINT January 1987


An excerpt from Julian Schnabel’s C.V.J.

Julian Schnabel’s C.V.J. (the book’s working title) will be published by Random House in the fall of 1987.

November 1981, Amsterdam.

I saw a Van Gogh drawing of his girlfriend’s mother standing in a back yard in The Hague. It was made in 1882. It has a grayish-purple wash on it. There’s a peculiar yet familiar light in it. It made me feel like I was standing on Houston Street in late November, the temperature had just changed; I didn’t have a scarf; a friend had canceled a dinner appointment with me. I had nowhere to go. I felt the air go through me. That drawing made me feel like I was already dead. That’s what I call Modern. Something that’s appropriate, that approximates the recognition of your consciousness. That’s what it means when someone says, “that painting looks like it was painted yesterday” Vermeer also has the power of Modernness, the ability to make the viewer disappear and

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