Julian Schnabel

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Julian Schnabel
File:Julian Schnabel (Hamptons International Film Festival 2010).jpg
Born (1951-10-26) October 26, 1951 (age 67)
Brooklyn, New York, USA
Nationality American
Education University of Houston, Houston
Known for Painting, film
Movement Neo-expressionism
Spouse(s) Jacqueline Beaurang[1] (divorced; 3 children)
Olatz López Garmendia (divorced; 2 children)

Julian Schnabel (born October 26, 1951) is an American painter and filmmaker. In the 1980s, Schnabel received international media attention for his "plate paintings"—large-scale paintings set on broken ceramic plates.

Schnabel directed Before Night Falls, which became Javier Bardem's breakthrough Academy Award-nominated role, and The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, which was nominated for four Academy Awards.

He has won the award for best director at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival,[2] a Golden Globe, as well as BAFTA, a César Award, two nominations for the Golden Lion and an Academy Award nomination.

Early life and education

Born in Brooklyn, New York City, to Esta (Greenberg) and Jack Schnabel,[3] Julian moved with his family to Brownsville, Texas, when still young.[4] It was in Brownsville that he spent most of his formative years and where he took up surfing and resolved to be an artist.[5] He is from a Jewish background and his mother was president in 1948 of the Brooklyn chapter of Hadassah, a religious Women's Zionist Organization in America.[6]

He received his B.F.A. at the University of Houston. After graduating, he sent an application to the Independent Study Program (ISP) at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York. His application included slides of his work sandwiched between two pieces of bread. He was admitted into the program.[4] Schnabel worked as a short-order cook and frequented Max's Kansas City, a restaurant-nightclub, while he worked on his art. In 1975, Schnabel had his first solo museum exhibition at the Contemporary Arts Museum in Houston. Over the years, Schnabel traveled frequently to Europe, where he was enormously impressed by the work of Antoni Gaudi, Cy Twombly and Joseph Beuys.


It was with his first solo show, at the Mary Boone Gallery in 1979, that Schnabel would truly come to be regarded[by whom?] as a major new force in the art world. He participated at the Venice Biennale in 1980, and by the mid-1980s had become a major figure in the Neo-expressionism movement. By the time he exhibited his work in a show jointly organized by Boone and Leo Castelli in 1981, he had become firmly established. His now famous "plate paintings"—large-scale paintings set on broken ceramic plates—received a boisterous and critical reception from the art world. A reputation for making brash pronouncements about his importance to the art world - I'm the closest thing to Picasso that you'll see in this fucking life - engendered contempt from both colleagues and the viewing public. Schnabel is currently represented by The Pace Gallery in New York.

Schnabel's signature works contain an underlying edge of brutality, while remaining suffused with compositional energy. Schnabel claims that he's aiming at an emotional state, a state that people can literally walk into and be engulfed.

Also famous are his works dedicated to people like Antonio Molina[disambiguation needed] or Paolo Malfi.[7]

Schnabel insists he is a painter first and foremost, though he is better known for his films.

In 2011 Museo Correr exhibited Julian Schnabel: Permanently Becoming and the Architecture of Seeing, a selected survey show of Schnabel's career curated by Norman Rosenthal.[9]

Art critic Robert Hughes was one of the most outspoken critics of his work: he once stated that "Schnabel's work is to painting what Stallone's is to acting: a lurching display of oily pectorals." (Time magazine, August 7, 2012.)

Museum collections

His works are in the collections of various museums throughout the world, among them the Metropolitan Museum of Art; Museum of Modern Art in New York; the Whitney Museum of American Art; the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), Los Angeles; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Reina Sofia in Madrid; Tate Modern in London and the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris.

Schnabel had an exhibition at the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto, which ran from September 1, 2010 to January 2, 2011 and occupied the entirety of the gallery's fifth floor. It examined "the rich interplay between Schnabel's paintings and films".[10]


In addition to his work as an artist, Schnabel has written and directed the films Basquiat, a biopic on the painter Jean-Michel Basquiat (1996), and Before Night Falls (2000), an adaptation of Reinaldo Arenas' autobiographical novel, which he also produced. He directed The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (2007), an adaptation (with a screenplay by Ronald Harwood) of a French memoir by Jean-Dominique Bauby. The Diving Bell and the Butterfly earned him the award for best director at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival,[2] the Golden Globe for best director, the Independent Spirit Award for best director, and a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Director. Schnabel, who designed Lou Reed's critically acclaimed 'Berlin' Tour in 2007, also released 'Berlin the Movie'.[11] Despite the fact that producing The Diving Bell and the Butterfly might seem like a commission to do someone else's work, Schnabel took on the film. According to Schnabel,

In 2009 he shot the film Miral in Jerusalem .

Writing and recording

Schnabel published his autobiography, CVJ: Nicknames of Maitre D's & Other Excerpts From Life (Random House, New York), in 1987 and released the album Every Silver Lining Has a Cloud on Island Records (Catalog #314-524 111-2) in 1995. Recorded in Brooklyn, New York, in 1993, the album features guest musicians including Bill Laswell, Bernie Worrell, Buckethead, and Nicky Skopelitis.

Personal life

Schnabel lives in New York, maintaining studios in New York City and in Montauk on the eastern end of Long Island with a house in San Sebastián in Spain.[5] He has three children by his first wife, clothing designer Jacqueline Beaurang: two daughters, Lola, a painter and film-maker, Stella, a poet and actress, and a son, Vito, an art dealer.[12]

He also has twin sons, Cy and Olmo, by his second wife, Spanish Basque actress Olatz López Garmendia. Garmendia appeared in Before Night Falls, and as Bauby's physical therapist in The Diving Bell.[5]

His collaboration with Rula Jebreal, who penned the screenplay and original source novel for Schnabel's film Miral, extended beyond the movie. Schnabel was in a relationship with her from 2007 to June 2011.[13][14]

Since 2012, Schnabel has been dating May Andersen, a former model and assistant director at the Hole Gallery. Schnabel and Anderson have one son, Shooter, who was born in August 2013.[15]

Schnabel resides at 360 West 11th Street, in a former West Village horse stable that he purchased and converted for residential use, adding five luxury condominiums in the style of a Northern Italian palazzo. It is named the Palazzo Chupi and it's easy to spot because it is painted pink.[16] The building is controversial in its Greenwich Village neighborhood because it was built taller than a rezoning, happening at the same time as the construction began, allowed. Neighbors also alleged illegal work done on the site. The Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation and allies called on the city for stricter enforcement, but Schnabel's home eventually rose to the 167 feet he desired, rather than the new 75-foot limit imposed by the Far West Village downzoning of 2005.[17]

Until his death, Lou Reed lived across the street from Schnabel, who considered him his best friend.[18]


See also


  1. New York Magazine - Google Books. Books.google.ca. 1992-05-18. Retrieved 2013-06-06.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Festival de Cannes: The Diving Bell and the Butterfly". festival-cannes.com. Retrieved 2009-12-18.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "Paid Notice: Deaths Schnabel, Esta Green Berg". New York Times. 19 November 2002. Retrieved 2010-10-30. Devoted mother to Andrea, Stephen, Julian.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. 4.0 4.1 "The double life of Julian: how the bad boy painter turned fêted director". London: The Independent. 2007-05-29. Archived from the original on July 1, 2008. Retrieved 2008-02-05.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Brown, Mick (19 January 2008). "Julian Schnabel: Larging It". London: The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 2010-05-07.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. Jewish director Julian Schnabel brings Palestine to Venice The Guardian. 2 September 2010
  7. "Julian Schnabel: dedications". Julian Schnabel.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. Linda Yablonsky (February 11, 2008). "Conversation With Julian Schnabel". ART+AUCTION.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. Morgan, Robert C. (September 2011). "In Venice: Schnabel and the Persistence of Art". The Brooklyn Rail.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. "Julian Schnabel: Art and Film | AGO Art Gallery of Ontario". Ago.net. Retrieved 2011-01-25.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. "Berlin". Archived from the original on March 9, 2008.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. "The Schnabel Family".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles> The New York Observer
  13. Schnabel movie chronicles Mideast conflict[dead link]
  14. Enk, Bryan (2011-04-20). "Movie Blogs - Yahoo! Movies". Blog.movies.yahoo.com. Retrieved 2013-06-06.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  15. "Artist Julian Schnabel and model May Andersen engaged". NYPOST.com. 2012-11-21. Retrieved 2013-06-06.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  16. Barbanel, Josh (2009-12-06). "Price Cuts of a Princely Kind". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-05-07.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  17. "Preservation Alert - Julian Schnabel". Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation. Retrieved 19 September 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  18. http://www.tv.com/shows/spectacle-elvis-costello-with/watch/lou-reed-and-julian-schnabel-1243213/

External links