Dana Schutz Exhibited at The Saatchi Gallery

Dana Schutz
Reformers

2004

Oil on canvas

190.5 x 231 cm

Dana Schutz’s work has been described as 'teetering on the edge of tradition and innovation’. ’My paintings are loosely based on metanarratives. The pictures float in and out of pictorial genres. Still lifes become personified, portraits become events and landscapes become constructions. I embrace the area between which the subject is composed and decomposing, formed and formless, inanimate and alive. Recently I have been making paintings of sculptural goddesses, transitory still lifes, people who make things, people who are made and people who have the ability to eat themselves. Although the paintings themselves are not specifically narrative, I often invent imaginative systems and situations to generate information. These situations usually delineate a site where making is a necessity, audiences potentially don’t exist, objects transcend their function and reality is malleable .’ Dana Schutz 2004

Dana Schutz
Singed Picnic

2008

Oil on canvas

204 x 230 cm
Dana Schutz
Death Comes To Us All

2003

Oil on Canvas

305 x 198 cm

Death Comes to Us All is the painting equivalent to a psychotic episode; Schutz’s man and machine meld in convincingly scary hallucination. Dana Schutz’s paintings draw a fine line between escapism and invasion: her elaborate scenes are not just depictions of fantasy, but portals to plausible realities where 'life’ and 'art’ converge. Creating parallel worlds contrived in their own rules of logic, Schutz paints an interconnectedness between function and form. Adopting the role of the artist as a Dr Frankenstein-like power, Dana Schutz consolidates figuration and abstraction as a monstrous experiment, the effect of artistic vision spun out of control.

Dana Schutz
Face Eater

2004

Oil on Canvas

58 x 46 cm
From a series of paintings of auto-cannibals, Face Eater is funny and bizarre. The dark background pushes the full horror of the subject to intimate proximity: a zoom lens view of the slimy suggestion of a tongue lathering up the last of his own eyeballs. A parable of confrontation and discomfort, Schutz invents a race that would rather swallow itself rather than cope with its own inadequacy.
Dana Schutz
Reclining Nude

2002

Oil on canvas

122 x 152 cm

Imagining herself as the last painter on earth, and Frank as the last subject (and audience), Dana Schutz’s Frank series explores the power relationships of artist/subject/viewer as a witty (if not sadomasochistic) ménage à trois. Dana Schutz paints her protagonist over and over again, like a sad calendar pin-up, ruefully exploited in different poses and settings. In Frank on the Beach, she has him play sex-kitten, sprawled like a second-rate rent boy in the muddy surf at sunset.

Dana Schutz
Frank in the Desert

2002

Oil on Canvas

183 x 137cm

Held hostage on a fictional desert island in Dana Schutz’s imagination, Frank is painted repeatedly, his lonely shipwrecked life put under the constant scrutiny of her brush. Obsessively reinventing his nature to her whim; Dana Schutz’s resulting paintings play out the dynamics of power struggle between creator and invention. In Frank in the Desert, Frank is now a hairy wild man, the do-gooder care worker or renegade ecologist of female fantasy. Dana Schutz paints her victim with sly familiarity: he’s fed up with the joke. Schutz retaliates by giving him sunburnt and blistered arms.

Dana Schutz
Albino

2002

Oil on Canvas

38 x 46 cm
Schutz’s portrait of an albino is as grotesque as it is captivating. Rendered in thick impasto, she draws out her subject’s pasty whiteness in the most sculptural way: the eyes given a troll-like wrinkle, the mouth simultaneously crusty and drooling. Unlike historical court paintings of dwarfs and mutants, Schutz’s painting isn’t a folly, but an honest confession of repulsion and seduction.
Dana Schutz
Chris's Rubber Soul

2001

Oil on Canvas

107 x 120 cm
Schutz uses painting as a means to invent things which just can’t exist in any other genre. In Chris’s Rubber Soul, she uses two-dimensional medium to create a sculpture: half archaic technology, half totemic fetish. Bound by no other logic than its own representation, Schutz offers a form for no other reason that its own contemplation, of beauty, humour, plausibility and possible function.
Dana Schutz
Feelings

2003

Oil on Canvas

46 x 51 cm

Schutz treads a fine line between empathy and repugnance. Envisioning a race of self-eaters, she pictures both the nurturing and self-destructive qualities of an aberrant addiction. In Feelings , her character is frantically rendered with wide brush marks and soft tones, giving a human sensitivity to its apparent grief. Hands to mouth, Schutz’s painting dissolves into dysfunctional breakdown, no longer rendered, but squeezed urgently from the tube. Contorted in crippling desperation, it’s unclear if this act of instinctive self-comfort is ympathetically benign, or something much more carnivorous and psychotic.

Dana Schutz
Sneeze

2002

Oil on Canvas

48 x 48 cm
Sneeze does everything a portrait shouldn’t: contorted and unflattering, Schutz sets up the serene stillness of memento just to interrupt it with high-velocity drool and repulsive gobs of snot. It’s a comic take on painting that’s just fundamentally wrong. More akin to an unfortunate photographic snapshot than honoured art tradition, Schutz uses her medium to embellish the horror of embarrassment, exaggerating a moment of inopportune affliction to a permanent monument of public ridicule.
Dana Schutz
Twister Mat

2003

Oil on Canvas

214 x 229cm
In Twister Mat , Schutz sets up a scene of malevolent intrigue. Using painting as a means to realise impossible scenarios, where the illogical is celebrated as the function of imagination, Schutz presents a picnic gone horrifically awry as pastoral normalcy. Both funny and revolting, Schutz uses surrealism to delve into primitive desire. Rotting in believable sun-baked atmosphere, Twister Mat invokes a carnal familiarity; the monstrous reinvented with a home-spun comfort.
Dana Schutz
Sword Rack

2003

Oil on canvas

213.4 x 182.9 cm
Schutz has a way of producing horror that feels comfortably homey. A rack of swords in a creepy old house is delightful in its precarious violence. Schutz uses the unnatural elements of compositional painting to create a plausible scene of magic realism, a bizarre still life infused with mystery and implied narrative.
Dana Schutz
Tapestry

2005

dyed wool

212.5 x 1 x 245 cm

Translating her expressionistic style of painting into a homespun tapestry, Dana Schutz proves to be a master of colour and composition. Her visceral brushwork is sanitised as flat shapes and pantone hues, and focuses the impetus of her narrative on the purity of its design. Dana Schutz's carpet acts as both fictional tableau and object of kitsch fetish, a plausible craft project by one of her painted characters. In this work, Dana Schutz renders her befuddled musician with her trademark gawky glory. With his pop eyes, purple skin, pigeon toes, and hunchback, her rug becomes a compelling site of discomforting leisure. Drawing from the trippy fashion of the seventies, Schutz weaves her own décor product, reconstituting her zany brand of surreal horror as a monstrosity of lifestyle design.


Dana Schutz's Biography

Dana Schutz

Born in 1976, Livonia, MI, USA
Lives and works in New York, NY, USA


SOLO EXHIBITIONS


2013
Hepworth Wakefield, Wakefield, UK

2012
Dana Schutz: If the Face Had Wheels, Denver Art Museum, Denver; Miami Art Museum, Miami, USA
Dana Schutz. Works on Paper, Museum of Contemporary Art, Denver, USA
Piano in the Rain, Friedrich Petzel Gallery, New York, USA
Götterdämerung, Dana Schutz, The Arnold and Marie Schartz Gallery Met, The Metropolitan Opera House, Lincoln Center, NY, USA

2011
Dana Schutz: If the Face Had Wheels, Neuberger Museum of Art, Purchase, NY
Dana Schutz: Drawings & Prints, Atlanta Contemporary Art Center, Atlanta, GA

2010
Dana Schutz, Douglas Hyde Gallery, Dublin, Ireland; Museo di arte moderna e contemporanea
di Trento e Rovereto (Mart), Rovereto, Italy
Dana Schutz: The Last Thing You See, Contemporary Fine Arts, Berlin, Germany

2009
Missing Pictures, Zack Feuer Gallery, New York, NY

2008
If It Appears In The Desert, Contemporary Fine Arts, Berlin, Germany

2007
Stand By Earth Man, Zach Feuer Gallery, New York, NY

2006
Dana Schutz: Paintings 2002-2005, Rose Museum, Brandeis University, Waltham, MA and Museum of Contemporary Art, Cleveland, OH

2005
Dana Schutz, Site Santa Fe, Santa Fe, NM
Teeth Dreams and Other Supposed Truths, Contemporary Fine Arts, Berlin, Germany

2004
Dana Schutz, JCCC/Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, Overland Park, KS
Panic, Zach Feuer Gallery (LFL), New York, NY
Self Eaters and the People Who Love Them, Galerie Emmanuel Perrotin, Paris, France
Run, Mario Diacono Gallery, Boston, MA

2002
Frank From Observation, LFL Gallery, New York, NY


GROUP EXHIBITIONS


2012
The Supersurrealism, Moderna Museet, Malmö, Sweden
Tale in Two Cities, Cleveland Institute of Art, Cleveland, USA
Kids, Contemporary Fine Arts, Berlin, Germany
Pothole, Salon 94, New York, USA
From Cattelan to Zurbarán Manifestations of Precarious Vitality, Kunsthaus Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland

2011
Hareng Saur : Ensor and Contemporary Art, S.M.A.K. Stedelijk Museum voor Actuele Kunst, Gent, B (31 Oct 10 - 27 Feb 11)
Alles Kannibalen, Me Collectors Room, Berlin, Germany,
Tous Cannibales?, La Maison Rouge, Foundation Antoine de Galbert, Paris , France
Creating the New Century: Contemporary Art from the Dicke Collection, Dayton Art Institute, Dayton, Ohio, USA
Cryptic, Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, St Louis, USA
Inside the Painter's Studio, Massachusetts College of Art and Design, Boston, USA

2010
Shifting the Gaze: Painting and Feminism, The Jewish Museum, New York, NY
Art of Our Time: Selections from the Ulrich Museum of Art, Wichita State University, USA
The 185th Annual: An Invitation Exhibition of Contemporary American Art, National Academy Museum, New York, USA

2009
Something About Mary, Arnold and Marie Schwartz Gallery Met, New York, USA
Transitions. Painting at the (other) End of Art, Collezione Maramotti, Reggio Emilia, Italy
Saints and Sinners, Rose Art Museum, Brandeis University, Waltha. USA

2008
5000 Jahre Moderner Kunst - Painting, Smoking, Eating, Villa Merkel, Esslingen, Germany
Eclipse, Moderna Museet, Stockholm, Sweden
Live Undead, Transmission Gallery, Glasgow, Great Britain

2007
USA today, Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia
Past, Present, Future Perfect: Selections from the Ovitz Family Collection, H + R Block Artspace, Kansas City, USA
Fractured Figure, Deste Foundation, Athens, Greece
From here to infinity, Cleveland Institute of Art, Ohio, USA
NeoIntegrity,Derek Eller Gallery, New York, USA
Contemporary Art at the Colby College Museum of Art: Gifts from the Alex Katz Collection, Colby College Museum of Art, Waterville, USA
Art in America: 300 Years Of Innovation, Shanghai Museum of Contemporary Art, Shanghai, China
Hammer Contemporary Collection, UCLA Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, USA
Poets on Paintings, Ulrich Museum, Wichita, USA

2006
Imagination Becomes Reality, Part V, Sammlung Goetz, Munich, Germany
Printemps de Septembre, Toulouse, France
USA TODAY, Royal Academy of Art, London, UK
Once Upon a Time In the West, Contemporary Fine Arts, Berlin, Germany