Press and private view Monday 8 February 6 to 8.30pm
Gallery hours Monday - Friday 10am-6pm
Robilant & Voena
38 Dover Street
Mayfair, London W1S 4NL
T+44 20 7409 1540
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Edmondo di Roblant and Marco Voena are pleased to enclose a catalogue of our recent exhibition in London. Julian Schnabel Navigation Drawings are painted in the summer of 2008 in oil on found vintage nautical maps which are subsequently mounted onto stretched linen. Despite their intimate scale, these drawings suggest an expanding pictorial space. Rotating the map on its side or upside down, the artist releases its informational content to emphasize gesture and fluidity. Each stroke describes the speed and direction of its marking, and in this way, the drawings are as precise and as abstract as the maps onto which they are painted. The overall visual sensation is one of openness and light; one also detects a cinematic impulse to frame and focus the image.
David Moos writes: “Schnabel’s work is rooted in exploring and trying to define the difference between epiphany and the commonplace. In his recent series of drawings on nautical maps this tension is articulated in direct terms. Often a single gesture or cluster of painterly forms depicts the painter’s presence, a compressed or distilled essence…Through his treatment each map becomes a backdrop for events – pictorial events that he acts out, inviting narrative.” (“Sounding in Fathoms: Julian Schnabel’s Recent Navigation Drawings”)
This gallery exhibition marks a long association between Julian Schnabel and Robilant + Voena, who has shown the artist in London regularly since 2002. Recent solo exhibitions of the artist’s work include Pintura del Siglo XXI in 2005; Christ’s Last Day Atto II in 2008 and Untitled (Chinese Paintings) on view at the Saatchi Gallery in 2009 and at the Museo di Capodimonte in Naples.
Julian Schnabel first came to the attention of the British public when Saint Francis in Ecstasy, 1980 - an early plate-painting - was included in the groundbreaking exhibition New Spirit in Painting curated by Norman Rosenthal, Nicholas Serota and Christos Joachimedes at the Royal Academy, London in 1982. With supreme conviction Schnabel’s work echoed the title of the exhibition; a young artist taking on the dictum of “the death of painting”.
Julian Schnabel was born in New York in 1951 and studied at the University of Texas (1969-73) and the Whitney Museum Independent Study Program (1973-74) and Schnabel’s work has been exhibited world-wide. His paintings, sculptures and works on paper have been the subject of retrospective exhibitions at: Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, 1982; Tate Gallery, London, 1983; Whitechapel Gallery, London, 1987; Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, 1987; Städtische Kunsthalle, Düsseldorf, 1987; Whitney Museum of American Art, 1987; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, 1987; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, 1987; Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Basel, 1989; 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 Monterrey, Mexico, 1994; Tamayo Museum, Mexico City, 1994; Foundation Joan Miró, Barcelona, 1995; Galleria d’Arte Moderna di Bologna, Italy, 1996; Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt, 2004; Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Palacio de Velazquez, Madrid, 2004; and Mostra d’Oltremare, Napoli, 2004.
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; The Guggenheim Museums, New York and Bilbao; Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; Tate Gallery, London; Metropolitan Museum, Tokyo; Reina Sofia Museum, Madrid; National Gallery, Washington D.C.; National Gallery of Australia, Canberra; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco; Kunstmuseum, Basel; and the Foundation Musée d’Art Moderne, Luxembourg.
In 1996 Schnabel wrote and directed the feature film Basquiat about fellow New York artist Jean-Michel Basquiat. The film was distributed world-wide by Miramax Films and 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 Venice Film Festival 2000. In 2007, Schnabel directed his third film, The Diving Bell and The Butterfly. He was awarded “Best Director" at the Cannes Film Festival and the Golden Globes. The Diving Bell and the Butterfly was nominated for four Oscars, including "Best Director". Schnabel also directed a feature-length documentary of Lou Reed’s performance of his 1973 album Berlin (2007).
Most recently, Julian Schnabel has exhibited his paintings and sculpture at the Met Life building, New York, December, 2006; Julian Schnabel. Summer Pinturas 1978 – 2006, International Contemporary Culture Centre of San Sebastían, San Sebastían, Spain, July-October, 2007; Julian Schnabel. Paintings 1978 – 2006, Palazzo Venezia, Rome, Italy, May-June, 2007; Rotonda della Besana, Milan, Italy, June-September, 2007; Versions of Chuck and Other Works, Schloss Derneburg, Derneburg, Germany, June, 2007; Schnabel Asia, Beijing World Art Museum, Beijing, China, September-October, 2007; 10 Chancery Lane Gallery, Hong Kong, November, 2007; The Shanghai Zendai Museum of Modern Art, Shanghai, China, January-February, 2008; Gallery Hyundai, Seoul, Korea, March-April, 2008; Navigation Drawings, Sperone Westwater Gallery, New York, January-February, 2008; Christ’s Last Day, Gagosian Gallery, Los Angeles, California, February-March, 2008, The Conscious Gaze of Frightened Young Nuns, Museum of Contemporary Art, Kiasma, Finland, March, 2008.
Julian Schnabel lives and works in New York, as well as in Montauk, Long Island, and San Sebastían, Spain.