New York

Julian Schnabel, Lagunillas II, 2018, oil on found fabric, 11' 8“ × 14' 8”.

Julian Schnabel, Lagunillas II, 2018, oil on found fabric, 11' 8“ × 14' 8”.

Julian Schnabel

Pace

Art-historical accounts of the 1980s are dominated by the tale of two postmodernisms, which pits the critical rigor of Pictures artists against the fast-and-loose pluralism of neo-expressionists. In this morality play, Julian Schnabel has reliably borne the epithets of the archvillain. He is by turns the preening heel, the masculinist brute, or the avaricious avatar of the Reagan zeitgeist. There are stakes, then, in not allowing Schnabel’s persona—the pajamas, the real estate, even the films—to distract from taking a hard look at the paintings themselves, including those in his show “The Patch of Blue the Prisoner Calls the Sky” at Pace. If Schnabel’s actual achievement has been misconstrued, then the whole narrative framework in which he occupies such a crucial, contested role would also require reassessment. Therefore, a proposition: Since a gimcrack real-estate developer has now emerged

Sign-in to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. Please sign in below.

Not registered for artforum.com? Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW and save up to 65% off the newsstand price for full online access to this issue and our archive.

Order the PRINT EDITION of the September 2020 issue for $17 or the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.