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Dana Schutz Takes Back Her Painterly Name

In her new work, artist Dana Schutz takes back her painterly name. Her current canvasses are hyperassertive, full of operatic grandeur, self-mocking turbulence, acidified flooded color, disfigured hideousness, and the psychopathology of her figures — all clawing in some Malthusian struggle for existence. Like this work or not, Schutz is claiming a lot of visual territory for herself. This means more tenacity in the paint, irrepressible surfaces, ambitious scale, and mixed — conflicted — compositional structures.

The cosmic background radiation and explosive blowback of what Schutz triggered in 2017 are still here, of course. How could they not be? Painting is a kind of time machine: Just as the speed of light and sound are experienced after the fact so, too, is the speed of art — things like stress, shock, conflict, phobia, admissions of complicity, and crushing psychological weight emerge only later in one’s work...

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