Julian Charles Schnabel is born on October 26 in Brooklyn, New York, as the youngest of three children. His parents are Jack Schnabel, an immigrant from Czechoslovakia, and Esther Schnabel from New York.
The family moves to Brownsville, Texas, a small Gulf Coast town on the Mexican border. Coming of age in this environment, Schnabel experiences include crime, violence, and drugs. He begins a life-long practice of surfing.
Earns a BFA from the University of Houston.
Applies to the Whitney Independent Study Program in New York. To make sure of getting noticed, he packs slides of his paintings between slices of bread in a paper bag. He is accepted and moves to New York in the summer. After a short stay with the sculptor Joel Shapiro in exchange for painting his studio, Schnabel gets his own studio provided by the Study Program, where he also lives against regulations. To earn money, he sells sunglasses and drives a taxi.
Paints a series of Projective Drawing Test Paintings, fashioned after psychological tests that assess a person’s state of mind from their reactions to simple tasks. These include Draw a Family and Dog in a Revolving Door.
A frequent fixture at the artists’ bar Max’s Kansas City, owned by Mickey Ruskin, Schnabel pursues his education meeting the New York Art scene, including his first and best friend in the city, Bob Williamson. A late-night discussion with artist Brice Marden ends in a brawl.
Meets the German artist Blinky Palermo, an abstract painter who has just moved to New York, and his visiting friend Sigmar Polke, a subversive exponent of pop. They discuss art and drive to the Philadelphia Museum of Art to see Marcel Duchamp’s Large Glass. Also meets Andy Warhol for the first time and sees Joseph Beuys’s performance I Like America, America Likes Me at René Block Gallery.
Schnabel intends to return back to Texas for two weeks on his way to Mexico and ends up staying there for a year. He rents a studio on 19th Street in the Heights on the north side of Houston.
Between Houston and Dallas, Schnabel starts working as a cook. He paints Jack the Bellboy, which he later considers his “first adult painting.” He works with a mix of oil and wax with modeling paste that allows him to open up the picture ground, tearing holes into it or modeling the surface. These wax paintings include St. Sebastian—Born in 1951 and The Tower of Babel, a canvas that, like many others, he will finish years later back in New York.
First major illustrated article on his work by Edit DeAk in the painting issue of the independent art magazine Art-Rite, where Schnabel introduces himself as a dog painter.
First solo exhibition at the Contemporary Arts Museum in Houston without much response. Schnabel goes back to New York and works as a cook at Mickey Ruskin’s Ocean Club. He gets his friend, the painter David Salle, a job cooking there too.
From late October, Schnabel travels through Europe, with extended stays first in Paris, then in Milan. He is impressed by the works of Fra Angelico and Caravaggio and especially by a visit to the Giotto chapel in Padua. In Milan, he creates ten wax paint- ings for 3000 dollars, materials, and a studio to work in the basement of an apartment building owned by the collector Ruggero Jannuzzelli, who becomes a close friend.
Returns to New York in March and goes back to cooking while continuing his work on the wax paintings. Participates in a group exhibition in the gallery of Holly Solomon, whom he meets through his friend, the artist Gordon Matta-Clark. The show is titled Surrogate/Self Portraits, and Schnabel exhibits Jack the Bellboy, a name that he also uses as an alter ego when talking about his adolescence in Texas.
Meets Mary Boone, who agrees to be his dealer without offering an exhibition yet. In June, Schnabel has a solo show at Gerald Just’s Galerie Dezember in Düsseldorf, exhibiting five of his wax paintings. He stays with his friend Sigmar Polke, visiting his studio and seeing his work for the first time. Polke and fellow artist lmi Knoebel are two of the eight people who come to the opening.
From Germany, Schnabel travels to Italy again with his painter friend Ross Bleckner. He also visits Barcelona, where he is especially interested in the architecture of Antoni Gaudí and his use of mosaic. In his hotel room it strikes him that the closet there, measuring about 95 to 120 inches, would be the perfect size for a painting. It all comes together after his return to New York, where Schnabel begins to make his plate paintings: he buys china plates from the charity shop, breaks them and sticks them into a surface covered with a putty, such as bondo or den- tal plaster. Then he paints over this unlikely surface. The first two works in the new technique are titled The Patients and the Doctors and The Death of Fashion.
Schnabel also starts painting outside at his friend Peter Dicken’s house in West Falmouth, Cape Cod, producing the wax painting Hospital Patio Baboon in Summer.
In February, Schnabel has his first solo exhibition in New York at Mary Boone’s Gallery, which is still in the process of establishing itself, but already attracts many visitors being situated at 420 West Broadway along with Leo Castelli and Ileana Sonnabend. They decide to exhibit the wax paintings, as the plate paintings still seem too unusual for a first outing. The response is very good and the show sells out before the opening. In October already, Schnabel has a second solo exhibition at the gallery, where the plate paintings are finally shown. This time the response is overwhelming with reviewers (including Rene Ricard for Art in America, in the writer’s first important art-critical piece) agreeing that these paintings cannot be ignored. From here on, Schnabel’s work figures in every discussion of the death, or the return, of painting and the workings of the art market.
By chance Clyfford Still, who dies a year later, walks into Schnabel’s studio on 20th Street. Schnabel also meets Cy Twombly on the occasion of Twombly’s exhibition at the Whitney Museum of American Art and they become friends. Gallerist Bruno Bischofberger seeing The Patients and the Doctors in Annina Nosei’s home initiates another close friendship and collaboration.
In April Schnabel takes part in an exhibition with his painter friends Ross Bleckner and David Salle at Mary Boone’s gallery. While each artist makes very different work, they are perceived as part of the same scene and the gallery a major force in the return of painting.
First exhibition at Galerie Bruno Bischof- berger in Zürich. Schnabel also participates in the Venice Biennale curated by Harald Szeemann, as does Francesco Clemente, with whom he becomes friends. Other artists par- ticipating include Anselm Kiefer and Georg Baselitz.
Schnabel marries Jacqueline Beaurang.
He is painting on different unusual materials now, especially on velvet, and incorporating found objects into his paintings, such as the deer antlers in Exile.
Jean-Christophe Ammann organizes an exhibition titled Three New York Artists in the Kunsthalle Basel, presenting Schnabel together with Robert Moskowitz and Susan Rothenberg, which later travels to the Kunstverein in Frankfurt am Main. Schnabel shows the plate painting The Death of Fashion and velvet paintings including Ornamental Despair.
Schnabel is the first new artist to join Leo Castelli’s gallery since 1971. In April, he has a double exhibition at both Mary Boone and Leo Castelli, a strategy the two galleries will continue to pursue with other upcoming artists. He exhibits a total of 14 paintings and nine drawings.
Schnabel meets the young painter Jean-Michel Basquiat, who is painting in the basement of Annina Nosei’s gallery; they become friends.
In the summer, Schnabel paints outside in Amagansett on Long Island, where he finds old pieces of wood that he includes in huge plate paintings such as The Sea and Oar for the One Who Comes Out to Know Fear. Using tarpaulins to protect the plate paintings against the elements, the artist soon becomes fascinated by their used and weathered surfaces and starts working on them for his series of tarp paintings, including Artaud (Starting to Sing) and the Mutant King paintings.
Participation in the international group exhibition Westkunst in Cologne, curated by Kasper König, the Whitney Biennial in New York, and A New Spirit in Painting at the Royal Academy of Arts in London, curated by Norman Rosenthal, Christos Joachimedes, and Nick Serota. The latter proves a seminal exhibition including a broad selection of relevant work throughout the generations, from late Picasso, Bacon, and Twombly to Richter, Penck, Polke, and Brice Marden. Schnabel is the youngest painter in show.
Birth of daughter Lola Montes on August 30.
Exhibition of thirty paintings at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam as well as institutional solo exhibitions at the Tate, London, and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Takes part in the Transavanguardia group exhibition at the Galleria Civica in Modena, where curator Achille Bonito Oliva brings together painters from Italy and America that stand for a new post-abstractionist movement in painting. Other important European group shows include the Venice Biennale, curated by Harald Szeemann, and the group exhibitions Zeitgeist at the Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin, curated by Norman Rosenthal and Christos Joachimedes.
After the Biennale, Schnabel travels to Porto Ercole and discovers that the metric-sized plywood boards are preferable to the standard US 4 x 8 sheets. He makes a group of wooden paintings that refer to Caravaggio’s death on the beach nearby at Fort Filippo. Creates his first bronze sculptures— Balzac, Vito, and Marie—made from leftover plaster moulds found at the Johnson Atelier in Princeton, New Jersey, that the artist reconstitutes into new sculptures. He makes the huge plate paintings The Raft, which includes the bronze cast of a Christmas tree, and The Mud in Mudanza, which carries a bronze cross with horns and iron chain, as well as four Maria Callas paintings on velvet.
Solo exhibition at Leo Castelli’s new gallery at 142 Green Street, where Schnabel shows The Raft, The Mud in Mudanza, The Student of Prague, the Maria Callas paintings, and some sculptures. He participates in the Whitney Biennial in New York as well as group exhibitions surveying the latest developments in American art such as Nuevo Tendencias en Nueva York at the Palacio Velazquez in Madrid, curated by Carmen Gimenez, and Back to the USA at the Kunstmuseum in Lucerne and the Rheinisches Landesmuseum in Bonn, curated by Klaus Honnef.
Birth of daughter Stella Madrid on March 28.
First exhibition at Arne Glimcher’s Pace Gallery in New York. Schnabel shows new plate paintings, including Vita, and velvet paintings such as The Resurrection: Albert Finney Meets Malcolm Lowry.
In Zihuatanejo, Mexico, Schnabel encounters a brokendown tractor trailer on the side of the road and buys its canvas truck covering made from an olive-green waterproof heavy cotton, a common army material. Using vinyl paint, he makes three 17 x 23 feet paintings with figures that look like ancient monsters on the surface: War, Apathy, and Consumption.
On a trip to Australia, he begins collecting wood sculptures from Papua New Guinea. In Paris, he meets the fashion designer Azzedine Alaia, who becomes a life-long friend.
Together with a group of artists he is invited to the home of Barnett Newman’s widow, Annalee.
Joseph Beuys dies. Schnabel creates the sculpture Tomb for Joseph Beuys and installs it at Yvon Lambert’s gallery in Paris. He also participates in the exhibition Beuys zu Ehren at the Lenbachhaus in Munich.
Impressed by Schnabel’s work Adieu Batista from the previous year, painted on top of an advertisement banner of a two- headed lady from Coney Island, the Japanese art dealer Akira Ikeda presents the art- ist with Kabuki theater backdrops as a gift. Schnabel paints a series of works, making ample use of the landscapes, pink blossoms, and facades offered by these found surfaces.
He paints a velvet portrait of Andy Warhol, who makes a portrait of Schnabel in return.
Birth of son Vito Maria on July 27.
Andy Warhol dies on February 22.
In exchange for the use of Schnabel’s studio, the artist James Nares gives him three former boxing ring floor coverings that bear the traces of numerous boxing matches. Schnabel makes three paintings, including The Edge of Victory.
He also creates the Recognitions Paintings, using words from William Gaddis’ 1955 novel of the same name, laid out as 24 stations of the cross painted on army tarps. He will exhibit them the following year in the ruins of the Cuartel del Carmen in Seville, a 15th century monastery converted into an army barracks in the 20th century. William Gaddis in return writes a new text for the catalog.
Publishes the book CVJ: Nicknames of Maitre D’s & Other Excerpts from Life, often perceived as an early autobiography, but written by the artist as on-the-job training notes to share his experiences as a painter.
Extensive retrospective exhibition of Schnabel’s paintings organized by Nicholas Serota for the Whitechapel Art Gallery in London, and Dominique Bozo for the Centre Pompidou in Paris, traveling to the Kunsthalle Düsseldorf and then to the United States.
The retrospective arrives at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York. As some paintings are temporarily misplaced in the Doha airport in Qatar, Schnabel and curator Lisa Philips substitute other works to complete the show for the opening. It then travels to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston.
In a junk-shop in Houston, he finds a group of nine small paintings and adds purple oil paint to them for a series called Verament Bestia. It includes one painting of a blonde girl in a blue pinafore school uniform.
Schnabel travels to Egypt. Back in Montauk, Long lsland, he rents Andy Warhol’s Church Estate where he builds an outdoor studio. He paints 19 works each measuring 16 by 16 feet.
Jean-Michel Basquiat dies at age 27 on August 12.
Schnabel exhibits his paintings from Montauk in his solo show Cheers to an Empty Glass at the CAPC Musée d’art contemporain in Bordeaux, curated by its director Jean-Louis Froment. It then travels to the Museum Luigi Pecci in Prato, Italy, where he also includes sculpture. A retrospective of works on paper travels from the Kunstmuseum Basel to the Museum of Contemporary Art in Nimes, the Neue Pinakothek in Munich, the Palais des Beaux Arts in Brussels, the Fruitmarket Gallery in Edinburgh, and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago. Schnabel participates in the exhibition Bilderstreit in Cologne and a joint exhibition with works by Jean-Michel Basquiat in the Rooseum in Malmö, Sweden.
He creates the Fox Farm Paintings on red velvet, painting the words “there is no place on this planet more horrible than a fox farm during pelting season.”
In the ruins of Robert de Balkany’s Palm Beach home, Schnabel makes the Jane Birkin paintings on sails of Egyptian cotton from Felucca boats he had found while traveling down the Nile in Egypt two years earlier.
In the summer in Montauk, he paints a number of site-specific pieces on white tarpaulin, measuring 22 x 22 feet, his largest work so far. These are installed for five years in the Roman temple of the Maison Carrée in Nimes. AD, Catherine Marie Ange, and El Espontaneo (For Abelardo Martinez) are dedicated to the corrida that takes place in the Roman arena in Nimes every year.
Sixteen bronze sculptures are installed on top of the Chantarella precipice near St. Moritz in the middle of the Swiss Alps. The show, organized by Bruno Bischofberger, is accompanied by a catalog in which German author Peter Handke describes the sculptures: “They stood there, day and night, in sun, fog and blizzards, and looked as if they had just been rolled into the circle like giant dice.”
Schnabel makes five large paintings for which he drags tarpaulins behind his jeep to imprint the folds of the material with petroleum from asphalt roads and dirt from unpaved roads near his house in Montauk. It is the summer of Hurricane Bob, thus the title of these works. He also produces a series using the name of his future wife, Olatz, and the four The End of Summer paintings.
He again participates in the Whitney Biennial in New York and is invited to take part in the international art exhibition Metropolis at Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin, by Norman Rosenthal and Christos Joachimides.
Paints four paintings on white tarps that are permanently installed at the Reina Sofía Museum in Madrid as well as five 15 x 15 feet paintings on red velvet, all collectively titled Los Patos del Buen Retiro. The title references the ducks in Buen Retiro park, where the artist fell into the lake while stepping out of a row boat.
Exhibits all the works from the summer of 1991 at the Pace Gallery in New York.
Creates a group of works around the words Zeus and Duende, referring to the Greek god and the magic that embodies the heightened state when one encounters a piece of art, as found in the writings of the Spanish poet Federico Garcia Lorca.
Marries Olatz Lopez Garmendia; birth of their twin sons Olmo Luis und Cy Juan on October 21.
Meets Dennis Hopper who becomes a close friend.
Retrospective at the Museum of Monterrey and The Tamayo Museum in Mexico City.
Schnabel paints the series Last Attempt at Attracting Butterflies and a number of Pink and Japanese Paintings, all on canvases that carry a rectangle of pink merging into white like a painting within a painting.
Solo exhibition at the Fundació Joan Miró in Barcelona.
Schnabel directs his first film, for which he has also written the screenplay. Basquiat portrays the late and by now iconic painter, whose brief life ended of a drug overdose. It also offers an inside view of the New York art scene of the late 1970s and 1980s. As Basquiat’s original paintings cannot be used, Schnabel paints the work shown in the film himself. Beside Jeffrey Wright as Basquiat in his first role in a film, it features David Bowie as Andy Warhol, Dennis Hopper as Bruno Bischofberger, Gary Oldman as Julian Schnabel aka Albert Milo, Benicio Del Toro, Christopher Walken, Willem Dafoe, Michael Wincott, Claire Forlani, Parker Posey, Courtney Love, as well as Schnabel’s parents
Jack and Esther, and his daughters Lola and Stella.
Release of Schnabel’s record Every Silver Lining Has A Cloud, produced by Bill Laswell, with lyrics and vocals by the artist accompanied by Buckethead, Ornette Coleman, Bernie Worrell, Bernard Fowler, Anton Fier, Gary Oldman, Micheal Wincott, Brian Kelly, Carey Burtt, and others.
Basquiat is selected for the competition at the Venice Film Festival Schnabel creates twelve pictures entitled The Conversion of St. Paolo Malfi and Adieu, addressing the tragic death of his friend, the Italian artist Paolo Malfi.
A retrospective of his work at the Galleria d’Arte Moderna in Bologna. At the Belvedere in Florence, he collaborates with his friend, fashion designer Azzedine Alaïa for the Art and Fashion edition of the local Biennale, curated by Ingrid Sischy. Schnabel’s six Hat Full of Rain paintings surround one black, sculptural evening gown by Azzedine.
Creates a series of paintings with a smooth resin surface that refer to the style and subject matter of 17th and 18th century full-length portraiture.
Schnabel shoots his second film, Before Night Falls, based on the life of the Cuban poet Reinaldo Arenas, whose political writings and openly gay lifestyle bring him in conflict with the communist regime. Arenas is repeatedly imprisoned until he finally manages to leave for the US, where he spends his life until succumbing to AIDS at age 47. The film is shot in Veracruz and Merida in Mexico, Arenas is played by Javier Bardem in his first major US film, with Johnny Depp, Sean Penn, Andrea di Stefano, Hector Babenco, Michael Wincott, as well as Olatz, Vito, Stella, and Lola Schnabel, his parents Jack and Esther, and his youngest twins Olmo and Cy.
Before Night Falls wins both the Grand Jury Prize and the Coppa Volpi for best actor Javier Bardem at the Venice Film Festival. Bardem is nominated for Best Actor at both the Golden Globe Awards and the Academy Awards, and wins the New York Film Critics Circle Awards.
Thirteen years after overpainting a found painting of a little blonde girl with purple marks, Schnabel uses it as a model to make a group of finger paintings that vary in size from 7 1/2 to 13 1/2 feet, the Big Girl series.
Exhibits the Big Girl series at the Gagosian Galleries in New York and Los Angeles.
After founding the Blind Girl Surf Club, Herbie Fletcher and Schnabel create black surfboard sculptures with the Blind Girl logo and the club’s motto, taken from Groucho Marx: “I wouldn’t want to be a member of any club that would have me as a member.”
Schnabel’s mother Esther dies on November 17, aged 89.
Schnabel uses a Polaroid the size of a large room to photograph his daughter Lola with his bull-terriers, Milton and Tina. Over the summer in Montauk, he paints Versions of Chuck, portraits of his friend, the artist Chuck Manion.
Writes a screenplay adapted from Patrick Süskind’s novel, Perfume. The project is put on hold when Bernd Eichinger produces a movie from another adaptation of the novel.
Exhibition of tarp paintings, surfboard sculptures, and large-format Polaroids at Inverleigh House in Edinburgh.
Schnabel’s father Jack dies on January 24 in the artist’s New York home, at age 92.
Three days later a survey of more than 50 large-format works and sculptures from the past 25 years, curated by Max Hollein, opens at the Schirn Kunsthalle in Frankfurt am Main. The exhibition travels to the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía in Madrid and the Mostra d’Oltramare in Naples.
Schnabel begins a group of paintings on polyester using the printed image of a Chinese woman floating on a branch from a found 19th-century mirror in which the magnesium has disintegrated.
He starts to build out his studio and home on West 11th street after his own designs. Until work finishes in 2008, he moves his studio to the artist Ray Smith’s building in Carol Gardens in Brooklyn and lives in the house he renovated for his friend Jon Kilik on Clarkson Street.
In the Brooklyn studio, Schnabel makes surf paintings on polyester printed with photos taken by Herbie Fletcher in Hawaii.
Travels to Morocco, where he finds plastic awnings covering two butcher shops in the Atlas Mountains. After making a deal with the butchers, he paints the Goya paintings on this material.
Films The Diving Bell and the Butterfly in France. It is an adaptation of the French memoir by Jean-Dominique Bauby, a former editor of Elle magazine. He suffers a stroke leaving him completely paralyzed except for the use of his left eye, with which he manages to dictate the complete book blinking on a specific letter. The film stars Mathieu Amalric as Bauby, Marie Josée Croze, Emmanuelle Seigner, Anne Consigny, Max von Sydow, Pat- rick Chesnais, Niels Arestrup, Olatz Schnabel, Michael Wincott, Azzedine Alaia, and Lenny Kravitz.
Begins a series of oil drawings on maps, a ground he already used in the 1980s, and which he will return to regularly.
Receives the award for Best Director at the Cannes Film Festival for The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, as well as Best Director and Best Film in a Foreign Language at the Golden Globes, and Best Director at the Directors Guild. The film is also nominated for four Oscars including Best Director.
While shooting The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, Schnabel has found a pile of discard- ed x-rays from 1911 in an abandoned doctor’s residence. After using them in the credits for the film, he now prints them on polyes- ter and begins a series of X-ray paintings. He also makes Shiva paintings printed from an Indian poster he finds in a yoga studio.
Schnabel documents the Lou Reed concert at Saint Ann’s Warehouse in Brooklyn, New York, where Reed revisits his classic 1973 record, Berlin. Produced by Jon Kilik and Hal Willner, the resulting film is self-financed by Reed and Schnabel.
Retrospective Paintings 1976–2006, organized by Gian Enzo Sperone and Marco Voena, at the Palazzo Venezia in Rome and later the Rotonda dellaBessana in Milan. Another solo survey is installed at the Donostia-Tabakalera in San Sebastian, an abandoned 19th century tobacco warehouse that the artist converts into an exhibition space, later to become a Contemporary Art Center. Versions of Chuck & Other Works is shown at Schloss Derneburg, the former home and studio of Georg Baselitz, who also contributes a text to the catalog.
Using bridles bought at a market in Marrakech during his travels through Marocco two years earlier, Schnabel makes the Atlas Mountain paintings from oil-stained tarps that covered the floor of Ray Smith’s studio in Brooklyn.
Schnabel finally completes his residence and studio, a former horse stable, into a Venetian palazzo called Palazzo Chupi and moves into the new premises.
Shoots the film Miral in Palestine and Israel, a story told through the eyes of a Palestinian teenage girl (Frida Pinto). Along with many other children, she is saved by Hind Hosseini (Hiam Abbass), a woman who creates a school that functions as an island of safety in the middle of the Palestinian- Israeli conflict. The film also stars Vanessa Redgrave, Willem Dafoe, Juliano Mer-Khamis, Omar Metwally, Yasmine Al Massri, Ruba Blal, and Stella Schnabel.
Miral is shown at the General Assembly Hall of the United Nations. It wins the UNESCO as well as the UNICEF award at the 2010 Venice Film Festival.
The retrospective Art and Film at the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto, curated by David Moos, examines the dialog between the two art forms in Schnabel’s work.
Exhibitions of Polaroids at NRW-Forum in Düsseldorf and Bernheimer Fine Art Photography in Munich. Works include color and black-and-white photographs of family and friends such as Lou Reed, Mickey Rourke, Max von Sydow, Christopher Walken, and Placido Domingo alongside Polaroids of the Palazzo Chupi and the artist’s home and studio in Montauk.
Schnabel’s friend Dennis Hopper dies on May 29, a month and a half before his retrospective exhibition of photographs, paintings, and sculptures, curated by Schnabel, opens at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles.
Shows 36 paintings and two sculptures in the solo exhibition Permanently Becoming and the Architecture of Seeing at the Museo Correr in Venice, curated by Norman Rosenthal.
Cy Twombly dies; Schnabel makes five On the Day Cy Died paintings with titles taken from Garcia Marquez’s novel Autumn of the Patriarch.
He meets the scriptwriter Jean-Claude Carriere at the San Sebastian film festival.
Schnabel begins the series The Sky of Illimitableness whose motifs include a stuffed goat and a 19th century Dafour wallpaper depicting Cornwallis surrendering his sword to George Washington, both given to the artist by his daughter Stella, as well as a stuffed rabbit and a wool scarf from an English boarding school.
For Julian Schnabel: 1978–1981 at Oko in New York, curators Alison M. Gingeras, Amelia Dayan, and Daniella Luxembourg invite the artist to have an exhibition that consists of a single painting, one from each year, which changes every two weeks, in a store front on the lower east side.
Birth of son Shooter Truth on June 20.
Lou Reed dies on October 27.
Schnabel releases the book Draw a Family, his own selection of 500 paintings from 1973 to 2013, published by Karma, New York.
During two exhibitions in São Paulo, LA NIL – Pinturas 1988–2014 at the Museo de São Paulo Assis Chateaubriand and The Dizziness of Freedom at Galeria Raquel Arnaud, Schnabel stays with his friend, the director Hector Babenco, whose Pixote is one of the artist’s favorite movies. With Jean-Claude Carriere, he visits the Artaud and van Gogh exhibition at the Musee d’Orsay and they decide to write a script about Vincent van Gogh.
First meets Louise Kugelberg.
Surfing in Troncones, Mexico, with members of the Blind Girl Surf Club, Schnabel finds a special pink cotton material that serves as the roof of a toy store on the side of the road in the jungle. He acquires the fabric, stretches it between the palm trees at the house, and starts on an extended series with this new material.
Designs an art issue of the Die Welt newspaper in Berlin and paints some collaborative paintings with Jiri Georg Dokoupil during his stay.
Painting outside in Montauk, Schnabel begins a series of plate paintings of the roses near van Gogh’s grave. He continues painting them over the winter in the Swiss village of S-chanf near St Moritz.
First show of rose plate paintings at Vito Schnabel Gallery in St. Moritz. Print retrospective Palimpsest at the Ludwig Museum in Koblenz, where Schnabel also curates the Unknown exhibition of “The Magnificent Ten,” including Vahakn Arslanian, Thomas Chapman, Michael Chow, Wayne Magrin, Chuck Manion, and Lola Montes.
In the summer, he creates the bronze sculpture Self Portrait as the Blind Swordsman Searching for Louise, loosely based on an old olive tree that his daughter Lola has photographed in Sicily.
Hector Babenco dies on July 13.
Louise Kugelberg collaborates to finish the script that Schnabel and Jean-Claude Carrière had started about van Gogh.
Schnabel is the first artist invited by Dean Sobel, director of the Clyfford Still Museum in Denver, to curate works from the collection. He and Louise Kugelberg install 62 of Still’s abstract paintings, some never seen before by the public, in backwards chronology. A permanent installation by Schnabel, combining the five-part painting Treatise on Melancholia (1989) with six bronze sculptures, is installed at the Hall Foundation at Schloss Derneburg in Germany.
The film Julian Schnabel: A Private Portrait is released, directed by Pappi Corsicato, including interviews with family members and friends such as Al Pacino, Laurie Anderson, Hector Babenco, Jeff Koons, Willem Dafoe, and Jean-Claude Carriere.
Schnabel and Kugelberg move to France to shoot At Eternity’s Gate at the original locations of the artist’s life: in Paris, Arles, Sant Remy, and Auvers sur Oise. Van Gogh is played by Willem Dafoe, the cast also includes Oscar Isaac, Mathieu Amalric, Emmanuelle Seigner, Vlad Cosigny, Anne Cosigny, Mads Mikkelsen, Niels Arestrup, and Stella Schnabel.
Schnabel’s best friend, the fashion designer Azzedine Alaïa, dies November 18.
Schnabel is invited to create a site-specific exhibition at the Legion of Honor Museum of Fine Arts, San Francisco, by director Max Hollein. Symbols of Actual Life features a new body of monumental paintings at 24 x 24 feet each, attached to the columns outside in the courtyard of museum where they are exposed to the elements, in concert with three plaster casts from the 1980s, Balzac, Helen of Troy, and Gradiva, installed together with Rodin’s The Thinker. Inside the museum are works on Mexican tarps, Goat Paintings and two Jane Birkin paintings installed with smaller Rodin sculpture from the permanent collection.
Schnabel is the first contemporary artist invited to have an exhibition at Musée d’Orsay by Laurence des Cars and Donatien Grau. He juxtaposes 13 works from the collection by van Gogh, Manet, Toulouse-Lautrec, Cézanne, Monet, Gauguin, and others with ten of his own paintings. The exhibition space is designed by Louise Kugelberg.
At Eternity’s Gate premieres at the 2018 Venice Film Festival. Willem Dafoe wins the Coppa Volpi for Best Actor and is nominated for Best Actor at the Golden Globes and the 2019 Academy Awards. Schnabel uses the props he painted of Dafoe as van Gogh for the film as models for new plate paintings.
Self Portraits of Others includes 25 plate portraits: nine portraits of van Gogh as himself, six of Willem Dafoe as van Gogh, two of Oscar Isaac as Caravaggio, one of Caravaggio as Caravaggio, three of Frida Kahlo as herself, three of Schnabel’s son Cy as Velazquez, and one of Cy as Christ.
2019 Marries Louise Kugelberg on January 2.
On March 5, the exhibition The Patch of Blue the Prisoner Calls the Sky opens at Pace Gallery’s new locations on 25th Street in New York, including paintings on found tarps that once covered stalls in the fruit markets of Troncones, Mexico. The show is closed on March 7 due to the Covid pandemic.
In the meantime Schnabel and Kugelberg rewrite the script to Perfume, which Schnabel had begun 17 years before, as a six-part miniseries. With the collaboration of Daniel Kehlmann they also finish the script In the Hand of Dante, which Schnabel has started eight years ago, based on a book by Nick Tosches given to Schnabel by his friend, the actor Johnny Depp.