Julian Schnabel (America, b.1951) is an artist, filmmaker, musician, and writer, best known in the art community for his hasty rise to fame after the exhibition of his famous Plate Paintings at Mary Boone Gallery in 1979. Encouraged to draw by his mother during his childhood in Brooklyn, Schnabel’s artistic interest piqued as a teenager when he encountered the art of the Mexican muralists. After earning his BFA at Houston University in 1973, Schnabel enrolled in the very prestigious Independent Study Program at the Whitney Museum, and began his career as an artist.

Rapidly achieving notoriety in the late 1970s, Schnabel became the infamous star of the internationalist Neo-Expressionist movement in the 1980s, with his works on unusual materials such as velvet, and garnering as much attention through his brash remarks and self-aggrandization as through his art. Along with fellow Neo-Expressionists David Salle (American, b.1952), Eric Fischl (American, b.1948), and Sigmar Polke (German, 1941–2010), Schnabel’s art can be seen as a reaction against the cool compositions of Minimalism and Conceptualism, in its rough texture and violently expressive return to addressing the human condition in painting. In 1996, he began a career as a filmmaker with Basquiat and his movie The Diving Bell and the Butterfly based on the novel by Jean-Dominique Bauby had a great success. Since 2010, a selection of his Polaroids taken since 2002 has been held in London, Milan and Paris, which are repainted to underline the highlights of the pictures. He still lives and works in New York.

Timeline

1951
Born: New York, New York
1969–1972
B.F.A., University of Houston, Texas
1973–1974
Attends the Whitney Museum’s Independent Study program for young artists
1979
First solo show at the Mary Boone Gallery in New York, exhibiting his famous “plate paintings”
Lives and works in New York, New York

Exhibitions

2012
Contemporary Fine Arts, Berlin, Germany (solo)
2010
Beauty is Diamond, Laleh June Galerie, Basel, Switzerland
2008
Julian Schnabel, Zendai Museum of Modern Art, Shanghai, China
Navigation Drawings, Sperone Westwater Gallery, New York, NY
2007
Julian Schnabel - Paintings 1978-2006, Palazia Venezia, Rome, Italy
2006
Julian Schnabel, Galeria Enrique Guerrero, Mexico City, Mexico
2005
Julian Schnabel - opere grafiche, LipanjePuntin Artecontemporanea, Trieste, Italy
2004
Julian Schnabel - Sculpture, L&M Arts, New York, NY
2001
Julian Schnabel, Galleria Cardi, Milan, Italy
2000
Galerie Forsblom, Helsinky
Galeria Ramis Barquet, Mexico City, Mexico
1998–1999
Pace Wildenstain, Los Angeles, CA
Guid Hall, East Hampton, NY
South London Gallery, London, England
1000 eventi, Milan, Italy
Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, Salzburg, Austria
1996–1997
‘The Conversion of Saint-Paul Malfi, Pace Wildenstein, New York, NY
Sperone Westwater, New York, NY
Waddington Gallery, London, England
Bruno Bishofberger Gallery, Zurich, Switzerland
Modern Art Gallery, Bologna, Italy
1995
Joan Miro Foundation, Barcelona, Spain
Ramis Barquet Gallery, Mexico
‘The Conversion of Saint-Paul Malfi, the pink blouse I like the most and other pink paintings’, Jablonka Gallery, Cologne
1993–1994
Matthew Marks Gallery, New York, NY
Jason Rubell Gallery, New York, Miami
National Museum of the Art Center Reina Sofia, Madrid, Spain
Gian Ferrari Arte Contemporanea, Milan, Italy
Jane Birkin Paintings’, Pace Wildenstein Gallery, New York, NY
‘Major Retrospective of Paintings and Works on Paper from 1977 to 1993’, Monterrey Museum, Monterrey
Biennial of Sao Paulo
1979
First solo show at the Mary Boone Gallery in New York, exhibiting his famous “plate paintings”
1975
Has his first show at the Contemporary Arts Museum in Houston