The multidisciplinary practice of artist and director Julian Schnabel (b. 1951, Brooklyn, NY) extends beyond painting to include sculpture, film, architecture, and furniture. In 1978, he began to make Plate Paintings, imagic works with sculptural surfaces produced by layering shards of broken dishes with thick applications of auto body putty, dental plaster, and oil paint on wooden structures. His unorthodox, highly experimental approach to use of materials, gestures, and form and large scale and shaped paintings have blurred the distinction between abstraction and figuration. Throughout his practice, he sustained the use of objet trouvé and chance-based processes, transforming painting and opening the door for new generations of young painters today.
Head of contemporary programs at the Musée d’Orsay, Paris, Donatien Grau holds doctoral degrees in French and comparative literature from the Sorbonne, in philological and historical sciences from the École des Hautes Études, Paris, and a DPhil from Oxford University. He served as advisor to Azzedine Alaïa for the couturier’s not-for-profit exhibition space, the Galerie (2014–17), and curated the inaugural exhibition of the reopening of the Getty Villa, Malibu, Plato in L. A. (2018). He is an Editor-at-Large of Purple Fashion Magazine and the Brooklyn Rail. He has published widely on the arts and culture of the Roman Empire, on 19th and 20th literary and art history, as well as on contemporary art and culture.
Art critic and poet Raphael Rubinstein is the author of numerous books including The Afterglow of Minor Pop Masterpieces (2007) and The Miraculous (2014). He edited the anthology Critical Mess: Art Critics on the State of their Practice (2006) and is widely known for his articles on “provisional painting.” He is a Contributing Editor to Art in America, where he was also a Senior Editor. His blog The Silo has been awarded a Creative Capital/Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant and the Best Blog Award of Excellence by the International Association of Art Critics. A Professor of Critical Studies at the University of Houston School of Art, he divides his time between Houston and New York. He is an Editor-at-Large for the Rail.
The Rail has a tradition of ending our conversations with a poem, and
we’re fortunate to have
Author Andrei Codrescu was born in Sibiu, Transylvania, Romania, and emigrated to the United States in 1966. He is the author of numerous books: poems, novels, and essays. He founded Exquisite Corpse: a Journal of Books and Ideas. He was a regular commentator on NPR’s All Things Considered. He taught literature and poetry at Johns Hopkins University, the University of Baltimore, and Louisiana State University.