The Dairy Art Centre in London is presenting the first exhibition in 15 years of the seminal American artist Julian Schnabel. The exhibition brings together new and rarely seen works created within the last two decades. Now known as much for his critically acclaimed films as for his art, this exhibition is both a re-evaluation and a celebration of Julian Schnabel the painter – his primary occupation.
As an artist Schnabel has invented new boundaries and categories of what a painting can be. His work is both abstract and figurative, often manifesting both characteristics simultaneously. His series explore a wide range of subject matter and visual motifs, and for his exhibition at Dairy Art Centre, works being displayed will examine themes of ‘The Painter and the Painting,’ and ‘Spirituality and the Sublime.’ These will be contrasted with other works shown in series that incorporate oriental imagery, expressive abstraction and portraits of the artist. At every point within the exhibition, the enormous depth of Julian Schnabel’s visual imagination will challenge the possibility of what painting might be.
Since Schnabel’s emergence as a young artist in the 1980s, he has attracted controversy and acclaim in equal measure. His uncompromising stance as a painter and sculptor catapulted him to fame and paved the way for the new wave of painting that took place in the 1980s, establishing him as an unstoppable creative presence both internationally and at home. Since that time his critical reputation has continued to grow, and over
the past twenty years he has emerged as a renowned filmmaker. He has brought to films, such as the award winning Before Night Falls and The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, the visual sensitivity of the artist and a psychological depth that is inherent in all his work no matter what the medium.
“This exhibition is a celebration of the artist’s primary and beloved medium of painting, and we are honoured to dedicate the show to Schnabel’s recent and lesser-known body of works spanning the last two decades. Widely recognised as a modern day Renaissance man, incorporating painting, architecture, sculpture, film and photography into his oeuvre, Schnabel has gained a cult following amongst a generation of young artists and filmmakers alike.”
Julian Schnabel was born in New York City in 1951. In 1965 he moved with his family to Brownsville, Texas. He attended the University of Houston from 1969-73, receiving a BFA, and returned to New York to participate in the Whitney Museum Independent Study Program.
In 1978 Schnabel travelled throughout Europe and in Barcelona was particularly moved by the architecture of Antoni Gaudí. That same year he made his first plate painting, The Patients and the Doctors. His first solo painting exhibition took place at the Mary Boone Gallery in New York City in February 1979.
Schnabel’s work has been exhibited all over the world. His paintings, sculptures, and works on paper have been the subject of numerous retrospective exhibitions at museums including: The Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, 1982; Tate Gallery, London, 1982; Whitechapel Gallery, London, 1987; Kunsthalle Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf, 1987; Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, 1987; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, 1987; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, 1987; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, 1987; Musée d’Art Contemporain, Nîmes, 1989; Staatliche Graphische Sammlung, Munich, 1989; Palais des Beaux-Arts, Brussels, 1989; Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh, 1989; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, 1989; Museo de Arte Contemporáneo, Monterrey, 1994; Fundació Joan Miró, Barcelona, 1995; Galleria d’Arte Moderna di Bologna, Bologna, 1996; Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt/Main, 2004; Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid, 2004; Rotonda della Besana, Milan, 2007; Tabakalera, Donostia-San Sebastián, 2007; Museo di Capodimonte, Naples, 2009; The Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, 2010; Museo Correr, Piazza San Marco, Venice, 2011; J.F. Willumsens Museum, Frederikssund, 2013; and The Brant Foundation Art Study Center, Greenwich, 2013.
In 1996 Schnabel wrote and directed the feature film Basquiat about fellow New York artist Jean-Michel Basquiat. The film was in the official selection of the 1996 Venice Film Festival. Schnabel’s second film, Before Night Falls, based on the life of the late exiled Cuban novelist Reinaldo Arenas, won both the Grand Jury Prize and the Coppa Volpi for Best Actor for Javier Bardem at the 2000 Venice Film Festival. The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (2007) won Schnabel the award for best director at both the Cannes Film Festival and the Golden Globe Awards, and led to four Academy Award nominations. His most recent film, Miral, won the UNESCO as well as the UNICEF award at the 2010 Venice Film Festival. Miral was shown at the General Assembly at the United Nations.
His work is included in the public collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Guggenheim Museum, New York and Bilbao; Tate Gallery, London; Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum, Tokyo; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid; National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.; National Gallery of Australia, Canberra; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco; Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin; Kunstmuseum, Basel; Fondation Musée d’Art Moderne, Luxembourg; and Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris. Forthcoming exhibitions include: Karma, New York, March 24, 2014 – April 26, 2014; Dallas Contemporary, Dallas, April 12, 2014 – August 10, 2014 and Gagosian Gallery, New York, April 18, 2014 – May 31, 2014 Julian Schnabel currently lives and works in New York City and Montauk, Long Island.
Julian Schnabel Dairy Art Centre 7a Wakefield Street Bloomsbury London WC1N 1PG Opening hours: Wednesday – Friday, 10am – 5pm Saturday, Sunday and bank holidays, 11am – 5pm