artist / participant

press release

The debut exhibition by Julian Schnabel (b. 1953) at the Mary Boone Gallery in New York in 1979 was a sensation which overnight transformed him from an unknown restaurant chef to one of the most sought-after stars of the art world. He became a controversial icon of 1980s American art; a bad boy and ‘enfant terrible' of the New York art scene, maligned by critics and loved by collectors, who was renowned as much for the huge size of his works as for his eccentric personality.

Exhibited in the Contemporary Art Museum Kiasma is a retrospective of the works from 1980s to this day from the productive artist. Julian Schnabel created his early works of unusual materials, filling vast water-tight tarpaulins with objects added into thick paint layers: with broken dishes or hand-picked, aged "things" with their own history. The calm and even ascetic visual language of his newer works is a complete opposite to these "plate paintings".

Julian Schnabel considers himself to be a painter, irrespective of what technique he is using. Also a successful film director, he has said that he will use any tools in order to be able to express his own desires. In 1995, Schnabel wrote and directed the film Basquiat, and, after this success, two more films, Before Night Falls (1999) and The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (2007). For the latter, he has won the award for Best Director at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival and the Golden Globe Award for Best Director in 2008. The film has also been nominated for four Oscars in 2008!

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Julian Schnabel