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Julian Schnabel’s The Patients and the Doctors

November 24th, 2010

Julian Schnabel’s The Patients and the Doctors is on display for a limited time as part of the exhibition Julian Schnabel: Art and Film.

The Patients and the Doctors is Schnabel’s first plate painting. “It was that radical moment that an artist waits for,” he later recalled. By affixing broken plates to the canvas, he destroys the illusion of reality that a representational painting traditionally attempts to create. His smashed shards do not merely represent reality, they are of reality. This breakthrough work heralded his originality, and paintings like this one propelled him to the centre of the 1980s international art world. After Schnabel completed this painting, various possible titles flashed through his mind, which he penned in his notebook:

Painting for the Italian Cinema
Painting for the French Cinema
Painting for the American Cinema
Paramount
Roman Holiday #2
The Patients and the Doctors
Playboy in a Sportscar
Still Life Kathy

Even at this early moment in his artistic career, Schnabel was thinking about film and relying upon cinema to fuel his pictorial and narrative imagination.

You can hear the artist discuss his work by downloading the Julian Schnabel: Art and Film Audio Tour, FREE from iTunes.

The Patients and the Doctors

Julian Schnabel
born New York City, New York, United States, 1951
The Patients and the Doctors
1978
oil, plates and bondo on wood
Courtesy of Julian Schnabel