“RE-READING” JULIAN SCHNABEL AT ALMINE RECH NEW YORK
Re-Reading refers to works on paper; reproduced found images on cardboard, reproductions of wallpaper that have been
recycled and reenlisted serving as a palimpsest and ground for a stasis where anything can occur; two chairs, and spray painted Plexiglas works that cover found enlarged photos from a book on Ernest Hemingway’s house in Cuba.
Schnabel is an artist whose practice(s) transcend(s) all known genres or media: we all know about his dual interest in filmmaking and painting; not many, however, know that he is also an interior designer, an engraver, a musician, and a furniture maker.
Indeed, he is also a writer, and—the accurate word doesn’t exist in English—a reader. He is a ‘reader’ in a greater sense than the word conveys: one who is actively engaged and compelled, and himself compelling, one who turns reading into something more than a mere daily instrumental activity. Schnabel, in Flaubert’s sense, is a liseur. At Almine Rech, Schnabel will invite us to become liseurs ourselves throughout this visual and literary dialogue.
Naturally, the relationship between painting and writing is one of the more vexing ones, but in Schnabel’s practice, it takes a very nurturing path. “Painting’s logic supersedes our everyday logic and intention,” Schnabel recently said to me.
This quest for a new logic in painting not only transcends the old (and now somewhat tired and hackneyed) distinction between representational and abstract art—we know that Schnabel vehemently refuses to be trapped within this binary logic—but it also goes way beyond it: Schnabel’s unique ‘logic of painting’ transports him beyond the confines of painting itself.