Julian Schnabel - 20th Century & Contemporary Art Day Sale New York Tuesday, May 10, 2016 | Phillips

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  • Exhibited

    New York, Leila Heller Gallery, Look At Me: Portraiture from Manet to the Present, May 6 - August 29, 2014
    Southampton Arts Center, Close-Up: Contemporary Portraiture, August 22 - September 7, 2014

  • Literature

    Bettina Zilkha, "Southampton Arts Center Inaugural SummerFest," Forbes, August 30, 2014
    James Croak, "ART REVIEW: A Strong 'Close-Up' Look at Portraiture at Southampton Arts Center," Hamptons Art Hub, August 31, 2014

  • Catalogue Essay

    Julian Schnabel has been working for over five decades with a variety of materials; however, most would agree that the name “Schnabel” is nearly synonymous with his famed and groundbreaking "plate paintings" comprised of broken tableware. The present work, Portrait of Geoffrey Bradfield, exhibits the mature development and mastery of the artist’s inventive method. A direct response to the non-objectivity of the Minimalist movement which preceded him, Schnabel’s plate paintings embody his own statement that the viewer should be “engulfed in an emotional state” when looking at one of his works.

    Throughout his prolific body of work, Schnabel continually explored his interest in surfaces, challenging the two-dimensional picture plane in the spirit of the Cubists. As Schnabel explains, “When I did the plate paintings I wanted to break the surface of the painting and I liked the dissonance between the brightness of the plates and the other parts of the picture” (exh. cat., Derneburg, Schloss Derneburg, Julian Schnabel: Versions of Chuck & Other Works, 2007, p. 195). The present work eschews the flatness commonly associated with traditional painting by heaping materials onto the surface and bridging the divide between painting and sculpture. Akin to an archeological dig, the disorderly surface reveals a genteel portrait of Geoffrey Bradfield, the famed interior designer to prominent aristocratic and royal families. By the mid-1980s Schnabel was painting portraits of his friends and family on these tumultuous surfaces. Schnabel has expressed that his interest in creating portraits is derived from the element of surprise, “… I have been painting portraits for more than 30 years … I have always made portraits because I never know what they are going to look like. I mean, people show up and I paint them in different ways according to what they look like. So I never know what it’s going to be like until they are standing in front of me” (Mart Engelen, “Versions of May and other 21st century plate paintings by Julian Schnabel,” #59 Magazine, Issue No. 9, 2013).

Property from an Important Private Collection


Portrait of Geoffrey Bradfield

oil, ceramic plates and Bondo on wood
60 x 48 in. (152.4 x 121.9 cm)
Signed and dated "Julian Schnabel 09" on the reverse.

$150,000 - 250,000 

Sold for $167,000

Contact Specialist
John McCord
Head of Day Sale
New York
+1 212 940 1261

20th Century & Contemporary Art Day Sale

New York Auction 10 May 2016