Cover image for Julian Schnabel
Julian Schnabel
Schnabel, Julian, 1951-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York, N.Y. : Harry N. Abrams, [2003]

Physical Description:
367 pages : illustrations (some color) ; 37 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
NX512.S35 A4 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area-Oversize

On Order



Designed by Julian Schnabel, this volume presents more than 300 of the artist's works - many never exhibited or published before. Beginning with Schnabel's earliest sketches and paintings from the late-1960s, the book moves on to his rise to the top of the art world of the 1980s, with works such as Portrait of Andy Warhol from 1982 (one of many critically acclaimed broken-plate paintings included here) and Pope Clement of Rome from 1987. The book then covers Schnabel's later paintings, including the massively scaled Big Girls series, and work in photography, sculpture and film. More artist scrapbook than monograph, the book's text consists of telling excerpts from Schnabel's own interviews, essays and notes, along with works of poetry and fiction that have inspired his work.

Reviews 3

Publisher's Weekly Review

Artist, filmmaker and photographer Schnabel (b. 1951) is celebrated here in a book as big and glossy as the 80s-the decade that saw his sweeping, theatrical bravado in full flight. The era's notables are well represented in his signature broken-plate portraits; the painterly, rugged tableaus feature Azzedine Alaia, Tina Chow, Alba Clemente, Elton John and many more. Notes, gallery installations and preliminary drawings from nearly 30 years reveal an insatiable appetite for scale. Whether referencing Flaubert or Humpty Dumpty, working with abstract or figurative styles, evoking religious iconography or kitsch-or some combination thereof-the sense of gesture and mass always dominates. Except for stray black-and-white shots from the set of Schnabel's movie Before Night Falls, the reproductions in this monumental, lavish tome (published to coincide with an international traveling exhibition beginning in April 2004) are organized by loose chronology. Readers seeking trenchant analysis will be disappointed; with no discussion of influence, technique, or trajectory, the book, which Schnabel helped design, offers a meandering introduction with such vague observations as, "Painting is the only thing that really works for me." Unabashed Schnabel enthusiasts, however, will be thrilled with the hundreds of gorgeous reproductions. 430 full-color and 20 b&w illustrations. (Dec.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

Library Journal Review

The large scale of this gorgeously produced book announces itself with the same kind of brashness and uncontainable energy for which painter Julian Schnabel is well known. His broken-plate paintings set his career aflame in the 1980s, and more recently his successes in feature film (Basquiat; Before Night Falls) have brought him back into the spotlight, but as this book makes clear, Schnabel has been painting (and sometimes sculpting) his way through the decades with unflagging energy. Eschewing critical apparatus and explanation, this book intersperses studio shots and film stills with reproductions of paintings, sculptures, and collages, many previously unseen; the only text is a brief excerpt from a William Gaddis essay and bits of the artist's notebooks. For those in need of some mooring, a handy illustrated index lists the title, scale, and date (ranging from 1974 to 2003) of each of the 397 illustrations. While his oeuvre has the exuberant unevenness one might expect of an artist who works nonstop and seemingly without the hindrance of an inner critic, the book conveys the sense of discovery and excitement that seems so critical to Schnabel's way of seeing. Other books on the artist include an autobiographical/art-book hybrid called CVJ (1987. o.p.) and a number of exhibition catalogs. This is the only book to show his work in depth and as such is highly recommended for all contemporary art collections. [Also see "Must-Reads for Fall," LJ 9/1/03, p. 39.-Ed.]-Carolyn Kuebler, "Library Journal" (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

"If you can't surprise yourself, how do you expect to surprise anyone else?" writes Schnabel in his artist's statement. The beholder will be overwhelmed by the gorgeously illustrated 367 pages, extremely extravagant and impressive, of this large book, consisting of 30 years of Schnabel's artworks. It is colossal, including a lengthy selected exhibition history and bibliography. Schnabel (born 1951) is unique and definitely a young contemporary and internationally known master and genius. His paintings, multimedia paintings, sculpture, photography, and film (Basquiat, 1996, and Before Night Falls, 2000) are inimitable! In all of these categories his very content or iconography can be described as existential expressionism that visualizes deep, psychologically disturbing emotions, i.e., tragic, sad, enigmatic, fearful, anxious, grief-stricken, aware of death. Nothing remains the same; the flux of time is the reality. Schnabel's ancestral mentors are Van Gogh, Munch, de Kooning, Kokoschka, Schiele, Picasso, Motherwell, Baziotes, Pollock, and others. Schnabel explains to the reader his very intent: "You have to make a place for yourself. Images, materials, color, scale, the use of frame or not, everything that has formed the vocabulary, iconography, and architecture of what I do takes me to the work that I haven't made yet." ^BSumming Up: Highly recommended. Graduate students through professionals. I. Spalatin Texas A&M University-Commerce