Dana Schutz

Embracing the Human Experience Through the Absurd and the Grotesque

Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Humlebæk, Denmark, from February 9 to June 11, 2023

Dana Schutz
Presentation (Fremstilling), 2005
Olie på lærred, 304,8 × 426,7 cm
Ovitz Family Collection, Fractional and Promised Gift to The Museum of Modern Art, New York
Courtesy kunstneren, CFA Berlin, David Zwirner og Thomas Dane Gallery
© Dana Schutz

Dana Schutz, born in 1976 in Michigan, is an acclaimed American artist who has been captivating audiences with her powerful and thought-provoking paintings for over two decades. Through her unique blend of the grotesque, absurd, and comical, Schutz explores the depths of human relationships and the complexities of our shared experiences. Her work, which is both disturbing and enthralling, evokes a range of emotions that leave viewers wanting to scream, laugh, and cry simultaneously.

Narrative Power and Vigorous Sense of Colors

Schutz’s artistic prowess lies in her incredible narrative abilities and her innate sense of color. Her large-scale paintings often depict groups of people in dramatic situations, such as battling to reach the top of a mountain, struggling to survive on a boat in rough seas, or venturing out in a group with rafts in a desperate attempt to outpace the sun. These epic scenes, reminiscent of biblical tales, take on a contemporary mythology-like quality, highlighting the artist’s ability to weave together narratives that resonate across time and cultures.

Embracing the Classics and the Modern

While Schutz’s art is decidedly modern, she is well-versed in the traditions of history painting, drawing from her knowledge of the classics to inform her work. Her ability to integrate elements of historical masterpieces with her unique style is a testament to her artistic prowess, and the result is a compelling oeuvre that speaks to the human experience in ways both familiar and innovative.

Compassion and Sensitivity

Despite the seemingly gruesome and crass nature of Schutz’s work, her deep compassion and sensitivity to society and the times in which we live are evident throughout her art. She skillfully balances the grotesque and absurd with an underlying sense of empathy, encouraging viewers to confront the darker aspects of our shared experience while also celebrating our resilience and interconnectedness.

Exhibition Details

Dana Schutz’s work will be showcased in an exhibition at the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Humlebæk, Denmark, from February 9 to June 11, 2023. This exhibition presents a rare opportunity to witness Schutz’s evocative large-scale paintings in person and to experience the full impact of her unique artistic vision.

Dana Schutz has emerged as one of the foremost figurative painters of our time, masterfully blending the grotesque, absurd, and comic to create works that are both visually arresting and deeply thought-provoking. Her ability to navigate the complexities of human relationships and our shared experiences through her art demonstrates her unique talent and profound understanding of the human condition. As Schutz continues to create and share her work, she will undoubtedly remain an influential and important figure in contemporary art.

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