King of the Woods 森の王

SCHNABEL, Julian ジュリアン・シュナーベル

Standing at the painting's center is the king of the wood, with a sword in his right hand and a crown on his head. He is wandering in the wood to kill those who seek to rob him of his crown. The story is taken from Fraser's "The Golden Bough" (1890-1915). What most surprises us with this work is that it is completely covered with plates. The plates give three-dimensionality to the flat picture, and at the same time evoke images of the act of breaking them and the accidental shapes the breaking will create. In 1978, before attaining fame, Schnabel travelled to Barcelona, Spain. There he was deeply impressed by the mosaic works on Gaudi's architecture, and after his return to the U.S., exhibited his first "plate painting" as the first step in attaining the leading position in the New Painting of the early 1980s. It is known that his success owes much to the art dealer Mary Boone, but it cannot be denied that, at the end of the 1970s when "painting was half dead" between Minimalism and Conceptualism, he brought in figurative elements with stories and paintings rich in matiére. In "King of the Wood," Schnabel might be portraying himself as a lonely figure who was once at the top of the art scene.rn
Collection of
Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo
King of the Woods
Artist Name
Material / Technique
Oil, plate, bond, bronze on board
285(Height)×585(Width) cm
Acquisition date
Accession number

Other items of Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo (5861)