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April 15, 2014

Julian Schnabel: In The Course of Seven Days

A Rare Look Inside the Artist's Home Studio as He Opens His First US Museum Show Since the 1980s

Julian Schnabel’s bold, appropriative style has polarized critical opinion since he burst onto the New York art scene in the late 1970s, becoming one of America’s most famous living painters. His reputation as an artist was almost eclipsed by his success as a film director, with credits including Basquiat and The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, for which he won the Palme D’Or. Porfirio Munoz’s documentary In The Course of Seven Days is timely: currently showing at the Dallas Contemporary—his first US museum show since the 1980s—and with two solo exhibitions coming up, the controversial Brooklyn-born painter is back in vogue. “This show is a capsule of what happened, a selection of paintings from the past 10 years, more or less,” says Schnabel of Every Angel Has a Dark Side, which opens at the Dairy Art Centre in London on 25 April. “It's a continuum of ways that I have made marks, used materials and created images.” 

Seven things that Julian Schnabel is excited about this spring:
1. Seeing my son.
2. Meeting all those fresh new people that are waiting to meet me.
3. Watching the buds turn into flowers.
4. Getting in the water.
5. Surfing.
6. Seeing these paintings hanging in all of these different places and seeing how people react to them.
7. Hanging around with my friends.
And everything else. 

Every Angel Has a Dark Side runs at The Dairy Art Centre from April 25 through July 27 2014. View of Dawn in the Tropics: Paintings, 1989-1990 opens at the Gagosian Gallery, NY on April 17 - May 31. Julian Schnabel: An Artist Has A Past (Puffy Clouds and Strong Cocktails) is at the Dallas Contemporary until 10 August.

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Gary Simmons: Downtown Reflections

The New York Artist On the Roots of His Provocative, Pop-Infused Work

Gary Simmons unravels the influence that hi-tops, boom boxes and Public Enemy have had over his work in the latest installment of Matt Black’s Reflections series. Whether depicting the Hollywood sign ablaze or using watercolor varnish on large-scale, apocalyptic landscapes, Simmons twists American iconography with poetic vigor. First gaining art-world fame in the 90s with his “erasure drawings,” using chalkboards found in an abandoned school as canvases, Simmons smudged Disney cartoons with his fingertips to probe misconceptions of class and racial identity. Director Black sat down with him in his Chelsea gallery Metro Pictures—which also represents the likes of Cindy Sherman, Robert Longo and Andy Hope 1930—and was struck by both the intensity of Simmons and the breadth of his work that has shown at MoMA and the Whitney. “We spent the afternoon talking about New York, music, boxing and tattoos,” he says, citing Simmons’ installations “Fuck Hollywood” and “Line Up” as his favorite works, before adding: “In both he uses sneakers to tell a story of America. The result is always both subtle and powerful, with a haunting quality.”

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Sturtevant: Leaps Jumps and Bumps

Capturing Four Decades of Groundbreaking and Provocative Work from the Artists’ Artist

An unsettling line of inflatable dolls sits at the window of the Serpentine Gallery in London’s Hyde Park this summer. It comes as part of the Ohio-born, Paris-based artist Sturtevant’s first exhibition at a public institution in the UK, almost half a century after she began “repeating” the works of such New York art-world giants as Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein. For Sturtevant, the repetition for which she became so notorious is a way of shedding light on art’s inner workings: “It seems so simplistic,” she says, “but it’s oftentimes true that when something is simple, it’s powerful.” Ever rigorous, Sturtevant made a point of learning the techniques used to create the work of art she was repeating, normally choosing iconic pieces––like Warhols, which “work better” because they are recognizable––and executing them again, looking to find out what made them tick. In one famous anecdote, when Andy Warhol was asked about his screen-printing technique he is said to have replied: “Ask Elaine Sturtevant.” Having repeated Joseph Beuys, Paul McCarthy and other significant figures in 20th-century art, Sturtevant has now taken on the 21st century by making work that deals with the culture of repetition in the digital age, some of which can be seen in the video installation in today’s film. “Don’t call it a retrospective,” she says of the exhibition. “When you’re in a certain space, you try to create tension—via tonality, or rhythm—in order to trigger thinking. This shows a certain dynamic, and that’s very good.”

Sturtevant: Leaps Jumps and Bumps will be on view until August 26 at the Serpentine Gallery, London. 

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