Berlin Dialogue of Julian Schnabel and Jiri Georg Dokoupil
By Milosh Harajda & Diane Pernet
During one of our summer catch up conversations with Diane in Cafe de Flore she was surprised to lean about Julian Schnabel’s roots in Czechoslovakia and on my end I learned his first wife was Diane’s client back in New York city. Having brought ASVOFF to Slovakia back in 2019 we agreed it would be nice to follow up on building our Paris – Bratislava cultural bridge and teach ASVOF fans a small art lesson on Czech painters that made it to the top.
This upcoming weekend you have the last chance to visit the unique exhibition titled “Two Czechoslovakians Walk into a Bar” held at Osthaus Museum in Germany, which does a clear reference to the roots and heritage of both painters – Julian Schnabel and Jiri Georg Dokoupil.
Exhibited works were realized together in 2015 during a visit by Schnabel’s to the visit of Dokoupil’s studio in Berlin, which was initiated by the curator of the exhibition Reiner Opoku. Both artists are constantly searching, everywhere and with an alert mind. For both, painting is nothing other than discovery. The diversity of their work takes place in the direct process.
On the one hand, the title refers to the origin of Julian Schnabel’s father and that of Georg Dokoupil: Czechoslovakia. On the other hand, it conveys the relaxed atmosphere in which pictures can be created when two great artists meet in understanding. The results of this painterly dialogue are fascinating works of art that exude spontaneity and humor. “Everything can be the model for a painting – another painting, a smudge of dirt,” said Julian Schnabel at his speech during the opening night.
The brushstroke of one was followed by the response of another, line was followed by color, closed form by open form. The materials: acrylic paint, spray paint, soap suds on canvas and linoleum floors. Beyond their artistic past, which produced wild and expressive works, these works show a substance and depth of impressive intensity.
These jointly realized works reveal the handwriting qualities of both actors in the mode of playful design. Philipp Glass would certainly have taken great pleasure in setting these works to music, which in their formal contrasts have been able to develop more common ground than might have been conceivable before this adventure began. Find out in the gallery.