Julian Schnabel

New and unimproved: the spectacle of Julian Schnabel

New and unimproved: the spectacle of Julian Schnabel

Not a shred of irony is to be found in the extensive Julian Schnabel show at Blum & Poe. Irony is such an aesthetic mainstay now that hunger for it feels startling, but the arrogance and bombast here are suffocating. Even a whiff of the sardonic would be refreshing.

"Infinity on Trial" encompasses Schnabel's 40-year career, with emphasis on the last few years and the '80s, the decade of his ascending celebrity. In between those bookends, Schnabel directed significant feature films including "Basquiat" (1996) and "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly" (2007). He can be a storyteller of sensitivity and exquisite restraint in that medium, but when it...

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