Friday, May 7, 2010

Julian Schnabel art coming to Toronto

Julian Schnabel Untitled (Self-Portrait) 2005 is part of retrospective of his paintings. Julian Schnabel Untitled (Self-Portrait) 2005 is part of retrospective of his paintings. (Julian Schnabel/Art Gallery of Ontario)
Toronto's Art Gallery of Ontario plans a major retrospective of American artist Julian Schnabel this fall.
The artist, best known for films such as Basquiat and The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, says he thinks of himself primarily as a painter.
The AGO show, which will take in his work from the 1970s to the present, will look at how cinematic personalities and themes run through his work as a painter.
"It has become abundantly clear, as Julian Schnabel's painterly vision has evolved, that cinema has served to germinate his pictorial imagination, inspiring his paintings in diverse and dynamic ways," David Moos, the AGO's curator of modern and contemporary, said in a statement announcing the retrospective.
Schnabel himself will curate a film series running in conjunction with the exhibition, Films that Matter to Julian Schnabel.
He'll also appear at Cinematheque to introduce his own 2000 film Before Night Falls and Pixote, a 1981 Brazilian film about street kids and criminal gangs directed by Hector Babenco.
Four of Schnabel's films will screen as a backdrop to the exhibit:
  • Basquiat, about the life of graffiti artist superstar Jean-Michael Basquiat.
  • Before Night Falls, about the life of Cuban writer Reinaldo Arenas.
  • Lou Reed: Berlin (2007) a film of Reed's live New York concert performance of the album Berlin.
  • The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, a 2007 feature that earned him an Oscar nomination for best director.
Born in Brooklyn and raised in Texas, Schnabel was a major figure in the U.S. neo-expressionist movement in the 1980s.
He drew attention for his plate paintings, which are large-scale paintings on ceramic plates and for his series of works on different surfaces, including paintings on velvet and sailcloth.
His early work is notable for its bold strokes and vibrant colours and he was propelled to fame in part by an outsized and eccentric personality.
Included in the exhibit are:
  • The Patients and the Doctors, 1978, a plate painting.
  • Portrait of Andy Warhol, 1982, painted on velvet.
  • Jane Birkin #2, 1990, painted on sailcloth.
  • Anno Domini, 1990, from a period when he did huge canvasses.
  • Surfing Paintings, 2006, a series on polyester that Schnabel dedicated to Italian filmmaker Bernardo Bertolucci.
His work and life include references to stars such as Marlon Brando, Albert Finney, Dennis Hopper, Gary Oldman, Mickey Rourke and Christopher Walken.
Julian Schnabel: Art and Film runs Sept. 1 to Jan. 2, 2011.

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