new-york

Julian Schnabel

Pace | 32 East 57th Street

Julian Schnabel’s recent series of works, collectively entitled “Fox Farm Paintings,” 1989, places him within the now broad spectrum of artists engaging/exploiting ecological themes and motifs as either entertainment or enlightenment. Repeated throughout these paintings is a phrase Schnabel discovered scrawled on a ten-dollar bill: “There is no place on this planet more horrible than a fox farm during pelting season.” Despite the phrase's appeal to animal-rights enthusiasts, its tone of unmodulated asseveration makes its effect primarily histrionic. Probably there are several places on this planet more horrible than a fox farm during pelting season. The phrase is like an obscuring veil which must be rent so that the reader of these works may reach within them and discover their fictional reality.

It isn't the evident, univocal meaning of the phrase that matters in Schnabel’s new paintings;

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