Julian Schnabel (New York City, 1951) Schnabel’s mythic, often controversial career is rooted in his ability to morph and change using a vast alchemy of sources and materials composed and distributed across surface and support in defiance of the very notions of moderation, rationality, and order. Julian Schnabel’s large-scale paintings are materially and thematically monumental, drawing on a wealth of influences from Cubism to the practice of Cy Twombly and themes such as sexuality, obsession, suffering, redemption, death, and belief. Crowded with paint drips, dynamic brushstrokes, and found materials including broken plates, textiles, tarpaulins, and velvet, many of Schnabel’s paintings combine painting and collage techniques.
His baroque attitude is embodied in audaciously scaled paintings that, over the course of time, have combined oil painting and collage techniques; classical pictorial elements inspired by historical art and neo-expressionist features; abstraction and figuration. Tackling appropriately expansive themes such as sexuality, obsession, suffering, redemption, death, and belief, he has employed a diversity of found materials including broken plates, diverse textiles such as Kabuki theater backdrops, tarpaulins, and velvet; a plethora of images, names, and fragments of language; as well as thickly applied paint, viscous resin, and digital reproduction.
His work is included in the 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; Museum of Contemporary Art, 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.
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