At the tender age of 16, Vito Schnabel staged his first contemporary art exhibition in New York.
The son of the American painter and filmmaker Julian Schnabel and Jacqueline Beaurang, a clothing designer, Vito’s interest in art was not wholly surprising – but his prodigious passion surely was.
With a special fondness for abstract painting, Schnabel has built relationships with many artists over the years, from the anonymous collective the Bruce High Quality Foundation, to celebrated relative newcomers, Laurie Anderson and Terence Koh.
Now 30, Schnabel is an established curator and art dealer, and the director of 2 eponymous galleries – one in New York, and one in Switzerland.
The Swiss Vito Schnabel Gallery, in the Engadin valley region in the eastern Alps, is located amid a network of walking trails. The gallery’s St. Moritz location and architectural white cube façade is surrounded by the resort town, and was established in 2015.
As well as on-site exhibitions, the gallery intends to curate public spaces in St. Moritz, as an extension of its art programming.
One of the Vito Schnabel Gallery’s first exhibitions was by art world favourite Sterling Ruby, who staged a solo show, ‘STOVES’, there. In March, another exhibition by Ruby was set up, inspired by the activity of hiking, titled ‘Mix Piz’.
In it, Ruby represents that rural, wholesome pastime abstractly, through the colours and shapes of the sun, the moon and the mountains, as well as through the anthropomorphic sculptures that represent hikers or ‘DRFTRS’.
Currently, the pop imagery of Walter Robinson hangs upon the Vito Schnabel Gallery walls, paintings on bed sheets that depict scenes from the covers of paperback romance novels. Entitled ‘The Americans’, these works revolve around appetites – from the culinary to the sexual – as explorations of desire.
Definitely a worthwhile trip from your Alpine Art Nouveau bolthole, Villa Flor, only a beautiful 25-minute drive through the Engadin peaks.
A hidden sky-high art spot, Engadin’s mountains are also home to a further art gallery in the peaks, von Bartha - a favourite among the cool crowd from Switzerland’s cultured St Moritz. For more hidden art spots check out our Art Curators genre.