Julian Schnabel shares space with Van Gogh


As accomplished artists go, the enigmatic Julian Schnabel is right at the top of the list. (He is also friends with Al Pacino!)

Not only is Schnabel an artist and a film maker, remember the Diving Bell and the Butterfly, and Basquiat, but he is also an art style originator as well, by virtue of his wonderful plate paintings, (see his Rose Painting near Van Gogh's grave). As an art form the plate paintings were and are an intriguing hybrid!

A little while back, Schnabel became the latest celebrity artist to guest curate a major museum show at the Musée d'Orsay, taking part in a curating trend that goes back to Warhol (the Conqueror).

Julian Schnabel will be a hard celebrity to follow at the Musée d’Orsay. He has been given carte blanche to combine his own work with paintings and sculpture from the collection in the Paris museum. This makes him the first artist to participate in d'Orsay's brilliant new guest curator initiative.

As well as Van Gogh’s famous 1889 self-portrait, which inspired Julian’s new film portrait 'At Eternity’s Gate,' he has carefully chosen works by such artists as Gauguin, Manet, and Toulouse-Lautrec. These and ten of his own works are included. Talk about an artistic tour de force down the decades! It is almost like a logical lineage.

Donatien Grau, the Musée d’Orsay’s new head of contemporary programs said that Schnabel was give access to whatever he wanted. Apparently, Schnabel was spending so much time at the museum when he was making 'At Eternity's Gate' that he was a natural choice for the show. Schnabel also wrote the texts for the show, and he and his partner Louise designed the two-room installation.

Asking a celebrity artists to curate a show has to be a good idea commercially as well a being a bit of a novelty. 'Orsay through the eyes of Julian Schnabel' was a definite and unmissable must-go-see on the art calendar!


More of Julian Schnabel's intriguing work can be seen at: http://www.julianschnabel.com/