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Julian Schnabel at PACE


Kayne Griffin Corcoran, a gallery that has been a fixture of the LA art scene since 2011, recently merged with the mega-gallery PACE, making their new La Brea location PACE’s tenth global brick-and-mortar (Jeff Koons, Sol Lewitt, Pablo Picasso, and Agnes Martin are among the top-tier artists/ estates that they represent). To inaugurate their newfound LA presence, the gallery has put up an exhibition of blue-chip artist Julian Schnabel, known for his plate paintings and feature films.

While the artist has turned to unconventional painting surfaces in the past, utilizing fabric awnings from a Mexican fruit market in a 2020 series, for his new exhibition, the artist turns to velvet as the substrate for his gestural marks. The fabric makes for a dynamic painting surface — at once opulent and seedy, the fibers buckle under the weight of Schnabel’s dense and cracking layers of oil paint, shimmering beneath lighter layers of sprayed pigment. While the works certainly include moments of engaging materiality, they also mark a turn towards PACE’s blue-chip mark at the La Brea outpost.

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Photo: Julian Schnabel, For Esmé – with Love and Squalor (installation view) (2022). Image courtesy of the artist and PACE Gallery Los Angeles.