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Julian Schnabel Map Drawings at Robert McClain Gallery 2.18.07

The drawings themselves are as fascinating as big drawings on old nautical charts can be. Maybe better, for Schnabel's offhand addition of oily strokes and blots makes me more curious about the parts of the maps he's obscured. In one way, it's a perfect marriage: There's nothing more interesting than a handsome old map, close up, and nothing more boring when you're too far away to read the details. Schnabel's blots give the maps wall power. The imagery is a little predictable; spatters like palm trees or volcanoes on maps of the Solomon Islands and the coast of California, but that's OK; the real interest is in the maps themselves anyway.

Ironically, just as I was driving away from McClain Gallery, I heard a plug for the show on KUHF radio. They mispronounced Schnabel's name, rhyming it with "stable", not "snobble", as I've always heard it. It just goes to show- you can be a heavyweight in contemporary art, but fame in the broader culture is another thing. I doubt they would have mispronounced "Picasso".

also by Bill Davenport
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1 Response

  1. Rainey

    The KUHF people often badly mispronounce the names of famous visual artists, though they’re careful to give foreign composers the native treatment (e.g. Rick-hard Vah-gner). Someone over there who knows about visual art (Dean Dalton?) needs to do pronunciation guides…

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