Over the last two decades, Dana Schutz has become known for complex canvases that convey emotions and psychological states and reveal the complications, tensions, and ambiguities of contemporary life.
This online presentation debuts five new paintings, also on view at Frieze New York, and brings you inside the artist’s studio process. Conceived together, these large-scale canvases depict various figures navigating post-calamitous situations and expand on Schutz’s singular, wholly inventive approach to both subject matter and painting.
David Zwirner is pleased to announce the representation of the New York–based artist Dana Schutz. The artist will continue to work with Thomas Dane Gallery in London, where she has a solo exhibition currently on view, and Contemporary Fine Arts in Berlin.
Schutz is known for formally inventive canvases that combine figuration and abstraction to construct complex visual narratives that engage the capacity of painting to represent subjective experience. Often depicting figures in seemingly impossible, enigmatic, or invented situations, her expressive works convey emotions and psychological states of mind that reveal the complications, tensions, and ambiguities of contemporary life.
As Peter Schjeldahl notes, Schutz “vivifies present conditions of life on a faltering planet as dramatically as an artist can while staying devoted to aesthetic ideals.” She achieves this through her singular approach to the medium of painting. Schjeldahl continues, “Painting wet-in-wet with oils, building thick and eventful surfaces, she creates allegories of uncertain but torrid, gnashing implication, a bit like the enigmatic narratives of the German modern master Max Beckmann, but less solemn. She does this with almost preposterously extraordinary gifts for composition, paint handling, and, in particular, color, suffusing clashes of hue and tone with ghostly essences of a chromatic unity that you feel rather than quite see.”1
A new work by Dana Schutz will be in David Zwirner’s upcoming 20/20 group exhibition in New York, opening on October 29.
Image: Dana Schutz, Lumberjacks, 2020 (detail)
1 Peter Schjeldahl, “Dana Schutz’s Paintings Wring Beauty from Worldwide Calamity.” The New Yorker, January 21, 2019.