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    Curated: Julian Schnabel

    An exhibit of his works through August 5 at the Legion of Honor

    The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco (FAMSF) recently announced their contemporary art program through summer 2018. It includes a major exhibition by Julian Schnabel. The program as a whole creates dialogues between living artists and the unique buildings and locations of the de Young and Legion of Honor, and works in FAMSF’s encyclopedic collection, revealing new meanings and juxtapositions across decades and genres.

    “The response to our program launch has been fierce and we will continue to broaden the discourse with multifaceted projects conceived for the de Young and Legion of Honor in the coming year,” said Max Hollein, Director and CEO of the FAMSF. He added that a new series of outdoor paintings by Schnabel transforms “the Legion of Honor’s courtyard into a temporary gallery.”

    Schnabel is one of the most important painters of our time, according to Hollein and his team. Schnabel’s artistic attitude is embodied in audaciously scaled and shaped paintings, incorporating classical pictorial elements, oscillating between figuration and abstraction.

    Mining a vast array of sources and materials, composed and distributed across surface and support in defiance of notions of moderation, rationality, and order, his approach to the use of materials is highly experimental. The new exhibit features not only the significantly sized, sculptural paintings in the iconic Court of Honor, but also three other distinct bodies of new work in the galleries dedicated to Auguste Rodin’s sculptures. These all mark the artist’s response to the physical space of the Legion of Honor and eternal themes in its collection.

    “These paintings might be the culmination of my entire painterly practice since 1977, as they epitomize so much of what had been the essential characteristics of the smallest and most nascent proposals of how imagery drawing and material could be called a painting,” said Schnabel. “It seems to me this is as far as I could go and as far as I can currently take painting—this week.”