Viewing Room Main Site
Skip to content
Dana Schutz

Americans do not see eye to eye on much these days, but we have, as the writer Nitsuh Abebe notes, “reached a weird, quiet agreement that the most potent force in our politics is . . . a stew of unease, fear, rage, grief, helplessness, and humiliation.” Dana Schutz is rendering our deeply anxious times with rare bravura. Her latest New York exhibition delivered twelve mordantly funny visions of modern agony: high-speed collisions of the mythic and the banal executed in a searing palette that is part German Expressionism and part underground comics. Photos fail to convey the tectonic textures of her canvases. Each surface is a battleground, a frenzy of assaults and counterattacks. Lesser artists use thick impasto as a cheat, as though mashing around entire tubes of paint automatically equals audacity and derring-do. Here, every thumb-thick squeeze and bubble-gum wad of color feels essential to the vitriol and vulnerability of the work. With brushes the width of baseball bats and kielbasas, Schutz serves up social commentary with the dark, sardonic humor of Otto Dix and Peter Saul. What distinguishes her paintings, however, is the empathy with which she depicts their tragicomic inhabitants...

Back To Top