A View of Dawn in the Tropics: Paintings 1989-1990 Gagosian Gallery May 2014
Schnabel’s career has been quite controversial and varied thus far, but everything he does centers on his work. I love how in interviews he always redirects you back to his paintings. He obviously cares deeply about painting, the history of it and his place in it. I can’t imagine success at Schnabel’s level can be easy as the art world is well known for ruining lives. It is refreshing to look back at a slice of Schanbel’s contribution to the art world of the late eighties to early nineties and see his success in the work too.
Schnabel does what many good painters do; he experiments with his materials and surfaces to conjure new imagery in a way that produces art.
Yes, there is little evidence of the scraping and covering that goes along with an image hard fought for but Schanbel undoubtedly knows his craft and knows when to stop. He has a voice, preferences, and limitations like all artists but works well within that world.
“Little Later” is my favorite piece in the show. It looks like the piece was painted with a tossed pair of jeans thrown repeatedly across the canvas but you only notice this close up. Getting back a fully formed & colorful piece of abstract art is produced. Darks and lights are placed carefully to make a good composition.
I am beginning to understand what it means to have claustrophobia, which Schnabel has. Surfing, painting outside, living in a huge pink castle in the middle of New York City, moving from New York to Brownsville, Texas at age 15 all seem to have an influence on these works.
Modern day painters should consider and reconsider Schnabel’s art. Not enough artists play and mess with their materials and surface the way Schnabel does. Drag a canvas behind your car while driving over a dirt road, then a paved one. Perhaps your next stop to get something to paint on should not involve a 40% off coupon from Hobby Lobby.