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Title: Passing through time : the intersection of painting and cinema in the works of Julian Schnabel
Author: Han, Jane
ISNI:       0000 0004 2734 7530
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2011
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This study examines the intersection of painting and cinema through the oeuvre of American artist Julian Schnabel. A controversial painter who came to prominence in the contemporary art world of the eighties, the study begins by contextualizing Schnabel within the art critical debates of the period. Addressing and revising the perceived reputation of the artist, the first chapter re-positions Schnabel predominantly as an inheritor of various traits of post-war American painting, in particular the somatic, affective and existential treatment of the canvas characteristic of action painting. The body of the study proceeds to compare the ways in which Schnabel’s cinematic practice borrows, extends and thus affirms many of his painterly approaches. Examining his four major film works (Basquiat, Before Night Falls, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly and Miral) in tandem with his paintings, these chapters plot major confluences between the two media, in particular Schnabel’s overall use of a subjective, phenomenological method. Crucially, this aesthetic approach is shown to be in the service of an existential as opposed to epicurean aim, as it is most overtly expressed in his use of the objet trouvé and the dedication. The study ends by changing the vector of analysis to trace how Schnabel’s foray into the cinema may have influenced the aesthetic of his paintings, and subsequently how a reproductive medium such as film is able to push the boundaries of painting, not necessarily to announce its death. Ultimately, the goal of this study, beyond the monographic examination of a single artist, is to propose ways in which the medium of film has contributed to an evolving understanding of visual representation. For, unlike the modernist premise, the assumption is that it is precisely through the interaction and absorption of various formats that a medium can change, evolve and expand.
Supervisor: Reed-Tsoscha, Katerina Sponsor: Clarendon Fund
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Painting & paintings ; Fine art ; Photography & photographs ; Visual art and representation ; Julian Schnabel ; film ; cinema ; painting ; visual arts ; fine art