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  • Provenance

    Galerie Bischofberger, Zurich; The Saatchi Collection, London; Private collection, Ireland

  • Exhibited

    Kunsthalle Basel, October 3 – November 15, 1981; Frankfurt am Main, Frankfurter Kunstverein, December 18, 1981 – January 31, 1982; and Humlebaek, Denmark, Louisiana Museum, March 13 – May 2, 1982, Julian Schnabel, cat. no. 3, p. 7 (illustrated)

  • Literature

    R. Pincus Witten, “Entries: Palimpset and Pentimenti”, Arts 54, June, 1980, p. 130 (illustrated)
    J. Christophe Ammann and M. Suter, Julian Schnabel, Basel, 1981, cat. no. 3, p. 7 (illustrated)
    Stedelijk Museum, ed., Julian Schnabel, Amsterdam, 1982, p. 21 (illustrated)

  • Catalogue Essay

    After decades when cool minimalism and conceptual art had completely eclipsed painting, Julian Schnabel’s expressionistic and passionate artwork with its often romantic and heroic content, created an enormous shift towards the emotive and subjective in contemporary art. Schnabel’s debut exhibition at the Mary Boone Gallery in 1979 caused a sensation that propelled him into the forefront of the contemporary art scene. The interest his work provoked was so dramatic that he was given a second solo exhibition in November of the same year, in which he unveiled his infamous broken-plate paintings. These works, as the present lot Bob’s World demonstrates, are large Neo-Expressionist landscapes made by painting over fractured plates and crockery applied to canvases. Though he made many works that did not employ this device, these unusual surfaces became his signature style. Their physical rambunctiousness broke the ice for American painters, while also laying claim to some of performance art's theatricality. Schnabel’s plate paintings do possess a sense of happening, as if the actual crash is occurring in real time in the viewer’s mind. Visually, the works also recall Antoni Gaudi’s Parc Guell in Barcelona, which appear to be one of Schnabel’s immediate inspirations, while their implicit theatricality could also relate to the artist’s long years of employment in commercial kitchens. According to the artist, the idea came to him during a reverie in Europe, when he “had the funny idea" that he wanted to make a painting the size of the oddly large closet in his cheap hotel room, covered with broken plates. The works he made upon his return possessed a sculptural and tactile vitality that catapulted Schnabel into the limelight.


Bob's World

Oil, wax, Bondo, ceramic plates and horns on wood and canvas.
Overall 97 1/2 x 146 x 12 in. (247.7 x 370.8 x 30.5 cm).

$400,000 - 600,000 

Sold for $822,400

Contemporary Art Part I

16 Nov 2006, 7pm
New York