Close this search box.

Julian Schnabel



Julian Schnabel is a renowned artist known for his distinctive style and innovative approach to art. Throughout his career, Julian Schnabel has continued pushing art's boundaries, exploring new mediums and techniques. His artwork can be found in major museums and galleries around the world. He has received awards and honours for his contributions to the art world. Schnabel's education gave him a strong foundation for his artistic journey, allowing him to create groundbreaking and influential works of art.Schnabel has experimented with various mediums, including painting, sculpture, and filmmaking. His work has been exhibited in numerous galleries and museums worldwide, and he has received multiple awards and accolades for his contributions to the art world.What sets Schnabel apart from other artists is his unique artistic style and ability to challenge conventional norms and push the boundaries of traditional art forms. His bold and expressive approach has inspired countless artists and continues to impact the contemporary art scene significantly.

More Facts

Name: Julian

Surname: Schnabel


Lives & Works:

Lives in State:

Date of Birth:


Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Julian Schnabel BIOGRAPHY

Image Credit: MoMA

Early Life and Education

When was Julian Schnabel born?

Born in 1951 in New York, Schnabel grew up in a family with a strong appreciation for the arts. His father was a textile salesman, while his mother was a former fashion editor for Vogue magazine.

Schnabel showed a natural talent and passion for art from a young age. He attended the University of Houston, where he studied art and earned a Fine Arts degree. During his time at university, Schnabel was heavily influenced by abstract expressionism. These influences would later become evident in his artwork.

After completing his undergraduate studies, Schnabel moved to New York City to pursue his artistic career further. He quickly gained recognition for his large-scale paintings incorporating unconventional materials such as broken plates and tarpaulins. This unique approach to painting, known as “Neo-Expressionism,” helped establish Schnabel as a prominent figure in the art world during the 1980s.

In addition to his painting, Schnabel also developed a passion for filmmaking. He directed his first feature film, “Basquiat,” in 1996, which focused on the life of fellow artist Jean-Michel Basquiat. The film received critical acclaim and further solidified Schnabel’s reputation as a multi-talented artist.

What is Julian Schnabel known for?

Image Credit: MoMA

Julian Schnabel is famous for his contributions to the art world as a painter and filmmaker. He gained recognition in the 1980s as part of the Neo-Expressionism movement, which focused on bold, expressive brushwork and emotional subject matter. 

Schnabel’s large-scale paintings often incorporate unconventional materials, such as broken plates and velvet, creating a unique texture and visual impact. His work has been exhibited in many galleries and has received numerous awards and accolades for his artistic achievements.

In addition to his success as a painter, Schnabel has made a name for himself as a filmmaker. He has directed several movies, including “Basquiat” and “The Diving Bell and the Butterfly”. Through his films, Schnabel explores themes of creativity, identity, and human connection, further cementing his status as a multi-talented artist.

Career highlights

Image Credit: MoMA

Julian Schnabel’s career beginning and artistic style are remarkable. From his groundbreaking “plate paintings” to his use of unconventional materials and bold brushwork, Schnabel’s work is visually striking and thought-provoking. His contributions to the art world have left a lasting legacy and continue to inspire artists today.

Career Beginning and Artistic Style

Julian Schnabel’s career began in the late 1970s when he gained recognition for his “plate paintings,” which featured broken ceramic plates arranged in bold and expressive compositions. This innovative approach to painting quickly established him as a prominent figure in the Neo-Expressionist movement.

Schnabel’s artistic style is characterized by his use of unconventional materials and his large-scale, gestural brushwork. He often incorporates found objects, such as driftwood or tarpaulins, into his works, creating a sense of texture and depth. His choice of subject matter is also distinctive, often drawing inspiration from personal experiences, cultural and historical references, and his imagination.

What materials does Julian Schnabel use?

Julian Schnabel is known for his experimental approach. He is not limited to traditional artistic mediums and often incorporates unconventional materials. Schnabel has been known to use materials such as broken plates, tarps, and even velvet upholstery. 

He also experiments with different techniques, such as layering and collage, to create texture and depth in his paintings. By pushing the boundaries of traditional materials and methods, Schnabel adds another layer of creativity and innovation to his artwork.

Who are the contemporaries of Julian Schnabel?

One of Schnabel’s contemporaries was Jean-Michel Basquiat, an American artist who gained recognition during the 1980s. Basquiat’s raw and energetic paintings, often featuring bold colours and expressive brushwork, resonated with Schnabel’s approach to art. Both artists were part of the downtown New York art scene and were influenced by graffiti and street art.

Another contemporary of Schnabel was Anselm Kiefer, a German artist known for his monumental and often politically charged works. Kiefer’s use of unconventional materials, such as lead and straw, paralleled Schnabel’s exploration of materials in his artwork. Both artists were interested in themes of history, memory, and identity.

Julian Schnabel List of Work

Image Credit: FlashArt

Throughout his career, Schnabel has created numerous notable artworks that have gained recognition and acclaim in the art world.

One of Schnabel’s most well-known works is:


Plate Paintings

These large-scale paintings featured broken ceramic plates glued onto the canvas, creating a textured and layered effect. This series showcased Schnabel’s innovative use of materials and his ability to generate visually striking and emotionally charged artworks.



The Student of Prague




Maria Callas II










Christ’s Last Day






Heart of a Dog


Super Art Market






Jonas in the Fields




Along for the Ride



Schnabel’s artworks have been exhibited in prestigious galleries and museums worldwide. His solo exhibitions have been held at renowned institutions such as the: 

  • Guggenheim Museum in New York

  • Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris

  • Tate Modern in London

These exhibitions have allowed audiences to experience Schnabel’s unique artistic vision and have contributed to his status as a prominent figure in contemporary art.

In addition to solo exhibitions, Schnabel has participated in many group shows and international art fairs. His work has been included in prestigious events like the Venice Biennale and the Documenta exhibition in Kassel, Germany. These platforms have allowed him to showcase his art alongside other influential artists and further establish his place in the art world.


Throughout his career, Schnabel has received numerous accolades for his contributions to the art world. He was awarded the Golden Lion at the Venice Biennale in 2001, recognizing his outstanding achievements in contemporary art. 

In addition, Schnabel was elected as a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, further acknowledging his significant impact on the art community.

What type of art does Julian Schnabel do?

  • Contemporary Art

  • Neo-Expressionism

What inspired Julian Schnabel?

Julian Schnabel draws inspiration from a variety of sources. His works often reflect his personal experiences, cultural influences, and artistic movements. Schnabel has been known to draw inspiration from his travels, particularly to places like Mexico and the Mediterranean. 

He also finds inspiration in literature, music, and historical events. Schnabel’s diverse range of influences can be seen in his artwork, which often combines elements of abstraction, expressionism, and figurative art.

Follow Julian Schnabel on social media


Discover Artists



Page link

Link successfully copied. Ready to paste!