Julian Schnabel (born 1951) studied at the University of Houston in Texas from 1969 to 1973 and earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. He subsequently attended the 'Independent Study Program' of the Whitney Museum in New York City for two years. Even at the time of his first gallery exhibition in New York in 1979, critics celebrated his works as 'the return of painting', and from then on his works were the subject of a widespread debate about the goal and future of painting, in numerous emotional articles like 'The End of Painting' and 'Last Exit: Painting'. Schnabel was invited to the Venice Biennale in the 1980s, and such venues as the Whitechapel Art Gallery, the Centre Pompidou, the Whitney Museum and the San Francisco Museum of Art presented one-man shows of his work. To this day, Schnabel is an important part of the international painting scene.