About Julian Schnabel

“I don’t like the word no… I don’t see any reason to accept things just because it’s the way things are.”


— Julian Schnabel

Julian Schnabel was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. While his first solo exhibition was held at the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston in 1976, his rise to prominence occurred a few years later, following two exhibitions at the Mary Boone Gallery in New York, in which he re-established possibilities in narrative paintings. Schnabel’s work has been exhibited throughout the world. Retrospectives of his work have been mounted by Tate Gallery, London (1983), the Whitney Museum of American Art (1987), the Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankurt (2004), Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid (2004), Capodimente, Naples (2009), and the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto (2010), in addition to many other museums.


Schnabel’s work is included in the public collections of The Museum of Modern Art, New York, the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, the Guggenheim Museum, New York and Bilbao, the Centre Pompidou, Paris, and the Tate Gallery, London, as well as many other major museums.


Without extensive premeditation, Schnabel wrote and directed his first film, Basquiat (1996), an account of the short, efflorescent life of fellow artist Jean-Michel Basquiat. Schnabel’s poetic, profoundly humane style as a filmmaker later earned him acclaim for Before Night Falls (2000). The Diving Bell and the Butterfly won him the award for Best Director at both the Cannes Film Festival and the Golden Globes, and received an Academy Award nomination in that same category. His most recent film, Miral, premiered in the United States at The General Assembly Hall of the United Nations on March 14, 2011.


Julian Schnabel lives and works in New York City and in Montauk, Long Island.


By David Moos




Photo by Steve Clute for Tom Powell Imaging.