Thursday, May 08, 2014

Julian Schnabel at the Dairy

This weeks art visit was to a 'space' out near Russell Square called 'The Dairy' it's a fairly recent addition to the gallery world and was set up by collectors/dealers Frank Cohen and Nicolai Frahm as you might imagine the gallery is a former Dairy.

The show we were interested in was Julian Schnabel's  Every Angel has a Dark Side and on first encountering the works it was challenging (for me) to find anything that justified his reputation and the high costs of his works.
Strangely since bursting onto the arts scene in his early thirties he has run a career of several strands including successful film directing (an acclaimed realisation of  The Diving Bell and the Butterfly is on his CV) but he returns to painting and for many his work does not develop or improve.

Many of the paintings on show were of an artist at work (often self portraits) and it seems that Schnabel is not without ego - much of the discussion amongst our group was about the frames and I'm not sure that this is as it should be (even if they are signposting something) also many of us felt the use of Resin to coat the works was not altogether successful.
Dairy gallery

References to art history were decoded (like Whistler's Nocturne in Blue and Gold: Old Battersea Bridge) but overall the humour (if there was any) was drowned out be the size and lack of technique and care.
The tour did create discussion and we were lucky enough to have one of the gallery staff adding some more positive readings of the collection.

Part of Julian's rise was as a result of his so called 'Plate Paintings ' here he is talking about one of these and he does appear far more engaging than I anticipated or as some reviewers seem to present him.

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