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After the Quake, Dana Schutz Gets Back to Work

Dana Schutz was readying her coming gallery show, and chaos reigned on the walls of her Brooklyn studio. Her new works offered the painter’s signature scenes of anxiety and mayhem.

In “Presenter,” a female speaker at a TED-style event, with her underwear down around her ankles, tried to pull her own face off. “Treadmill” depicted a woman with a fishlike head flailing away on an exercise machine. And in “Painting in an Earthquake” an artist in front of a canvas held a brush as a brick wall before her shook violently.

“She’s trying to hold the room together, and the painting is falling,” Ms. Schutz said of that figure.

Thirteen paintings, along with five bronzes that represent her first foray into sculpture, are in Ms. Schutz’s show, “Imagine Me and You,” which opens Thursday at Petzel Gallery in Chelsea.

But with “Painting in an Earthquake” it is hard not to see Ms. Schutz’s recent history, too, given the art world earthquake she lived through and the tremors from it that are still being felt...

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