American painter and . He studied at the University of Houston from 1969 to 1973 and participated in the Whitney Museum Independent Study Program (1973–4). Probably the most exhibited, financially successful and aggressively self-promoting American artist of his generation, Schnabel emerged suddenly in the late 1970s as a leading and controversial figure within a movement labelled New Image. He produced and prints, and his brash, appropriative style, which shows an awareness of , combined huge scale, often garish colours and obscure textual reference. He held his first one-man show at the Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston, TX, in 1978 and subsequently exhibited extensively throughout Europe and the USA. Humanity Asleep
(1982; London, Tate), painted over a surface of broken crockery, is typical of what some critics regarded as his attention-seeking devices, but it was partly the product of a preference for and textured surfaces of unusual materials, such as velvet and animal hides, as well as the use of tarpaulin instead of sized . The attention that has obscured the seriousness of Schnabel's work has also assured its place in the contemporary art market.
D. Kuspit: ‘The Rhetoric of Rawness: Its Effects on Meaning in Julian Schnabel's Painting', A. Mag., lix/7 (1975), pp. 126–30
Julian Schnabel (exh. cat. by G. Schiff, New York, Pace Gal., 1984)
Julian Schnabel: Paintings, 1975–1986 (exh. cat. by T. McEvilley, London, Whitechapel A.G.; Paris, Pompidou; 1986) [incl. interview and writings by the artist]
DERRICK R. CARTWRIGHT