reviews

Julian Schnabel

Sperone Westwater

Now for some whopping exaggerations and reckless paradoxes: The abstractionist of Minimalist persuasion always paints the same picture; the abstractionist of Expressionist bent always paints a different one. The former works in a received world of agreed-on perfections; the latter swims in the wilder waters of intuition and guesswork. Expressionists lack a proscriptive list of desirables that might guarantee the credibility of their work. Is this why Julian Schnabel has embellished maritime maps in his new series “Navigation Drawings,” 2007? They chart, give direction, proscribe. Then again, maps, like Kabuki stage flats, kitchen linoleum, worn tarps, and pottery shards, have long been a staple of his drawings.

Some of the drawings are rendered on old Stanford maps, the kind that were hung from rollers on predigital schoolroom walls. Here, the maps have been pulled so far down as to reveal

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