Richard Woodward in the Wall Street Journal reviews the Dennis Hopper show at LA MoCA finding the actor a superior artist to the painter, he also has a few choice words to say about guest curator, Julian Schnabel:
Nothing hanging on the walls compares in startling originality with the demented photojournalist he played in “Apocalyse Now.”
The guest curator is Julian Schnabel, who knows a lot about making art across various platforms. It is hard to know if this successful painter-sculptor- filmmaker was afraid to exercise veto power over his friend—dying of cancer as they organized the show, Hopper passed away in May, a few months before the opening—or whether the painfully inept works of art here also reflect Mr. Schnabel’s convictions. Given that a number of the paintings and sculptures suffer from being elephantine and bombastic—that is, like Mr. Schnabel’s work in these media—he likely approves. […] Born in 1936, Hopper studied art at the Kansas City Art Institute. Even after finding early success as an actor in California, he didn’t give up on his dream of being a painter. Drawn to the tormented improvisations of Abstract Expressionism, dominant when he was in his 20s, then to the found-object conceptualism of Duchamp, and finally to the smooth talk of Pop Art, he never resolved the quarrels among the aesthetics. He remained an artist in search of a style.
Major Actor, Minor Artist (WSJ)