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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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Cécile B. Evans: Made With Minds

The Rising Artist Captures South London's Bold Venice Statement in a Psychedelic Video Work

Baldessari-like shapes of color float into view in Made With Minds, a surreal new film by Cécile B. Evans. The Belgian-American artist uses the Palazzo Peckham, an innovative gallery space which popped up during this year’s 55th Venice Biennale, as an unearthly backdrop for one of her first forays into video art. The former boatyard and current warehouse on the edge of the floating city was transformed into a grungy hub for a host of South London artists. Today’s film features some of their work, such as a salon filled with real-life palm trees erupting through skylights from Rob Chavasse, a psychedelic lobby created by Jon Rafman and pieces by Dora Budor, Samara Scott, Victor Timofeev and Amy Petra Woodward. “We didn’t want to base it on ordinary gallery models,” explains Lucky PDF’s Ollie Hogan of the space he created with gallerist Hannah Barry. “The style of the work emerging in Peckham is very much art for social environments, which is democratizing practices and creating conversations between people and networks.” Inspired here by the tension between idealism and failure inherent in propaganda films while also reflecting on the digital art she is known for, Evans has previously exhibited at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris and Art Basel, Miami, and last year received the 2012 Emdash Award, Frieze Art Fair’s annual prize for emerging artists. 

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Carsten Nicolai: Future Past Perfect

An Artist's HD Vision of Life Above the Clouds

Conceived from an ongoing fascination with the motions and textures of clouds, this short film by Carsten Nicolai is the result of 12 years of footage taken during commercial flights. During this period he has taken over 3,000 photographs and created original compositions to accompany the images. “One of my biggest inspirations is nature,” says Nicolai.  “I am very interested in natural science and models that try to help us understand what we are surrounded by.” Originally trained as a landscape architect, the Berlin-based artist’s creative process evolved to involve science, technology and sound, and has seen him exhibit in the likes of Pace and MoMA, as well as become a legend among techno-heads under his alias Alvo Noto and as part of the maverick electronic duo Diamond Version with Byetone. Today’s short inspired Skywalk, the first Closed capsule collection from conceptual designer, Kostas Murkudis. As Nicolai’s large-scale film project forms part of this week’s Art Basel film program, we asked him to sit down with fellow Berliner Murkudis to talk synesthesia, nature and flight tags. 

Carsten Nicolai: We have known and followed each other’s work for quite some time now. If there are options to connect our work, we take chances and try to emphasize each other’s work but at the same time mark our close relation.

Kostas Murkudis: We talk a lot about concepts and how we see the development of the world around us. It’s this mix of things, the serious and the jovial, which leads to results.

CN: Exactly. More than ten years ago I started to engage myself with micro and macro structures and their visual manifestations. I had already used a ready-made object called cloud chamber for an exhibition in Tokyo and I looked for a macroscopic equivalent. During this period I experienced a very homogeneous cloud 'landscape' during a flight to Italy and I photographed it. This series of photographs was the starting point of a long and continuous project of filming and taking photos of these kinds of stratus clouds. 

KM: You want to create a context. This context exists prior to the creation of clothes as much as in their presentation. I often have ideas for projects I want to conduct outside fashion and more and more so, I am able to do this, so I also create my own context. This is really wonderful. What science is to you, the raw, initial material is to me. We have a similar sensuality; our approach to the essence of our respective discipline is similar. Your work, like mine, is reduced to the necessary and yet complex. Sometimes we just joke around, we find things on the street or in a magazine, which we pick at random and use: once it was a number on a flight tag.

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