The NSU Museum of Art Ft. Lauderdale's exhibition, Café Dolly: Picabia, Schnabel, Willumsen is an excellent showcase of how even when it seems like an impossibility, due to time and geographical distance, different art movements and schools of thought share a common ancestry.
Featuring approximately 75 paintings, this show draws from French avant-garde, Dada, and surrealist painter Francis Picabia's later figurative period (1926-51), the late '80s industrial abstractions of Julian Schnabel, an American artist synonymous with New York City, and the late 19th to mid-20th-century works of visionary symbolist Danish artist J.F. Willumsen.
This assembled salon of Picabia, Schnabel and Willumsen collectively and independently also challenge concepts and traditions established by art history. The works on display demonstrate modern art's alternative routes toward the evolution of painting in the modern era. The "painterly language," as the press release explains, has "recognizable motifs... along with a need to explore and challenge the tradition of painting." Most importantly, it continues, "The three artists' work with figuration, narrative, and portraiture during periods dominated by abstraction." This makes them "controversial."
As the living link to this trio of visionaries, Julian Schnabel will make for delightful brunch company and a grounding example of art's transcendent powers this weekend at the museum. He's widely admired for his critically acclaimed films Before Night Falls and The Diving Bell and the Butterfly.
His first film, 1896's Basquiat met with mixed criticism mainly for what was perceived to be an agenda-forwarding work by Schnabel, a folly he foresaw as the first painter to direct a film about another painter. No stranger to hype himself, Schnabel's work as a painter is widely considered one of the main resurgences for painting in the late '70s. Internationally known, Schnabel's persona and work, though "polarizing" to many in the art world is known for destroying, the museum's website states, "the barrier between figurative and abstract art."
Check out the exhibition while it's still up and hear what this acclaimed artist and director has to say about everything.
NSU Museum of Art Fort Lauderdale Director's Brunch with Artist Julian Schnabel at 11 a.m. on Saturday, December 6 at the NSU Museum of Art Ft. Lauderdale, One E. Las Olas Blvd., Ft. Lauderdale. RSVP Required: firstname.lastname@example.org. Shuttle service from Art Basel Miami Beach and the Margulies Collection at the Warehouse is an option. Call 954-525-5500 or visit moafl.org.