By RUBEN NATAL-SAN MIGUEL September 27, 2023
Julian Schnabel: Bouquet of Mistakes
Pace Gallery, 540 West 25th Street, New York, NY 10001
Photography courtesy of Ruben Natal-San Miguel and Pace Gallery
New York–Pace is pleased to present Bouquet of Mistakes, an exhibition of new velvet paintings by Julian Schnabel, at its 540 West 25th Street flagship in New York from September 15 to October 28. The works on display in Schnabel’s upcoming show were made in concert with the preparation of his seventh feature film, In the Hand of Dante, an adaptation of Nick Tosches’s novel of the same name.
For the past 40 years, Schnabel has been on a quest to express the inexpressible. He began painting on velvet in1980, and, in 1984, his velvet paintings were the subject of his first exhibition with Pace Gallery on 57th Street. For Schnabel, filmmaking and painting exist in a continuum in which subject matter crosses between mediums, assuming myriad forms. This relationship resonates throughout the exhibition, where indecipherable narratives emerge from a process of imagery central both to Schnabel’s film and to the paintings on view. Celebrated for his vast and experimental practice that extends into the realms of sculpture and filmmaking, the artist has always been a painter first and foremost. Since 1978, when he created the first plate painting, The Patients and the Doctors—a work which abandoned traditional canvas in favor of a surface composed of broken plates—his use of unconventional, found materials has led to the invention of entirely new modes of painting. Dispensing with traditional distinctions between abstraction and figuration, Schnabel’s plate paintings, and his works on velvet, reinvigorated interest in painting as a medium for contemporary art. Moreover, in the early years of his practice, Schnabel decided to make paintings that incorporated the history and materiality of the medium itself, embracing a singular approach to both form and subject. Schnabel’s forthcoming exhibition in New York will mark his twenty-second solo presentation with Pace. With these new velvet paintings, Schnabel considers the ways that the material appears as subject matter throughout the history of art—particularly in the works of Titian, Goya, and other Old Masters—and its symbolic weight in the history of humanity itself. But rather than creating illusionistic depictions of velvet, the artist uses the material for the surfaces of his works, inventing a new, contemporary kind of history painting in the process.
Exhibition runs from September 15 to October 28, 2023
Jules de Balincourt:
Pace Gallery 540 West 25th Street
New York, NY
Photography courtesy of Pace Gallery and Ruben Natal-San Miguel
New York–Pace is pleased to present an exhibition of new paintings by Jules de Balincourt at its 540 West 25th Street gallery in New York. On view from September 15 to October 27, this exhibition, titled Midnight Movers,will mark the artist’s debut presentation with Pace in New York and his first solo show in the city in a decade.
De Balincourt is known for his vibrant compositions imbued with mystery, ambiguity, and psychological import.Taking a singularly expressive approach to making, de Balincourt discovers his paintings as he paints them. In a process akin to abstraction, de Balincourt’s paintings begin with pure form, gradually unfolding a unique mode of figuration. He eschews preparatory sketches in favor of an imaginative process guided by his own stream of consciousness. Despite their formal idiosyncrasies, his boldly and brightly hued works share a lyrical, oneiric quality that defies easy categorization—painting is let loose in service of discovering the medium’s pleasures and possibilities.
The artist’s work often examines the discordant and harmonious dynamics at play in the relationship between humanity and the natural world. In de Balincourt’s hands, individual marks seem to dissolve and give way to layered effects and formal disturbances, which keep the eye in a state of constant motion. Figures are dissolved and disaggregated to the point of abstraction, coaxing bodies into landscapes and landscapes into bodies.The surface of his work is almost always wood panel, a support that harkens back to the history of the medium in medieval and Renaissance Europe, and, in his intuitive approach to color, de Balincourt draws on Fauvist and Expressionist predecessors. Yet the scenes he paints are unmistakably contemporary: artifacts that speak to the ways that the subconscious can reflect the social, political, and cultural conditions of an increasingly anxious and restless world, shaped by the forces of globalization and technology. WM
Exhibition runs from September 15 – October 28, 2023
Ruben Natal-San Miguel is a New York based photogrpher published internationally.view all articles from this author