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Julian Schnabel, Trees of Home (for Peter Beard) 1, 2020

Julian Schnabel, Trees of Home (for Peter Beard) 1, 2020 © Julian Schnabel Studio. Photo: Tom Powel Imaging. Courtesy the artist and Vito Schnabel Gallery.

Forty-five years ago, Julian Schnabel met Peter Beard, who died last April at 82. They became friends and eventually—in Montauk, Long Island—neighbors. Both artists loved the work of Vincent van Gogh (Schnabel made a film about the artist in 2018, At Eternity’s Gate), and the last time Schnabel saw Beard, they discussed Van Gogh’s paintings of the trees of Saint-Rémy. “He had already had a stroke and it was difficult for him to speak in that fluid way that he would wrap his mind around a thought and not relinquish it until it had been exhausted,” says Schnabel.

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