PRINT April 2003

’80s THEN

Julian Schnabel

MAX HOLLEIN: We have to talk about your first exhibition at Mary Boone; in a sense, the ’80s started with that show.

JULIAN SCHNABEL: That was 1979. I was working on wax paintings—wax surfaces with images melded into them. I had already shown two paintings with Holly Solomon, who handled a lot of pattern painting; but there was other stuff going on in her gallery that I didn’t really relate to. Mary Boone had worked for Klaus Kertess at the Bykert Gallery before she opened her own space, where she showed a group of painters including Brice Marden. I thought it would be good for me to show the wax pieces in this stricter painting context. I also thought it was very clever of her to open a gallery in the same building as Leo Castelli and Ileana Sonnabend. It was small, but anybody who walked into that building to go to their galleries would also go to Mary’s.

MH: What was the public response?

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