Julian Schnabel - 20th Century & Contemporary Art Day Sale New York Tuesday, November 10, 2015 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    PaceWildenstein, New York
    Private Collection

  • Catalogue Essay

    “It’s a ridiculous idea, that you can’t respond to something unless it closely relates to your own life.' – Julian Schnabel, 2010

    As a paradigmatic New York artist, Julian Schnabel holds fast to the bombastic quality of the 1980s yet his work can simultaneously be characterized as distinctly of the now. His radical media and processes include anarchic collage, an array of found objects, seemingly frivolous text, and unusual canvas supports. Schnabel’s penchant for artistic risk certainly animated the younger generation that are dominating the fore of the art world today. Though his famous personality can be powerful enough to eclipse even the post poignant of his paintings, he prevails as one of the most dynamic, prolific, and compelling artists working today.

    The present lots finds incorporation of text in the form of “Elvira”, at once arbitrary, emotive, clasped by a swath of rich pink paint. Finding expression in many of his paintings, Schnabel describes “the subjectivity of the written word and the many forms it can take, and the many different meanings that are possible to different viewers depending on where they are from.” (Julian Schnabel in Conversation with Alex Gartenfield, Julian Schnabel: Permanently Becoming and the Architecture of Seeing, Thames and Hudson, 2011, pg. 43). The opulence of the white, creamy velvet experiences a stark interruption by the murky darkness of the globular forms, and at once we are transported to a pictorial and tactile battle of elements. Untitled (Elvira) illustrates the gravitas of a younger Schnabel, living and working in Montauk, creating inexorably-textured landscape that perhaps intimates a moment or a person in the artist’s life—and yet we are unconcerned with these details, as we are enraptured in his painterly gaze.



Untitled (Elvira)

oil on white velvet, in artist's frame
70 1/4 x 42 1/2 in. (178.4 x 108 cm)
Initialed, inscribed and dated "JCS Montauk 92" on the reverse.

$60,000 - 80,000 

Sold for $125,000

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

20th Century & Contemporary Art Day Sale

New York Auction 10 November 2015 11am