Louisiana poster featuring the work, The Arts , (2021), by American artist, Dana Schutz (b. 1976), from Louisiana's major 2023 Schutz exhibition, "Between Us". Already a classic in contemporary painting, Schutz has a penchant for the grotesque, the fantasy-driven and strange. She has distinguished herself with enormous storytelling power, strong color and sense of the dramatic – a storyteller for our own wild times.
The arts, e.g. music, theatre, literature and painting, pulls uphill like a procession. But the mood is catastrophic. There is no common goal. A directionless death ride? Or a dance of death, which medieval Europe had a fondness for. Threads are drawn to the color palette of surrealism, not least with Max Ernst (1891-1976).
Dana Schutz's depictions of an almost biblical dimension give rise to reflections on human folly and self-delusion: We stand on the edge, and people rush off, float in vessels or climb to the top of the mountain of the world while pointing and gesturing - as did they have the basic idea of how to save the situation on land.
Several scenes resemble post-disaster arenas, as humans seemingly try to regain control. Schutz is by no means naive in her relationship with the world. It is present with Schutz - and she leaves us in the middle of it.
Dana Schutz fundamentally renews the motif itself to use oil, brushes and canvas. Schutz paints something that often starts in the head or has its roots in language, and she is nourished by this fundamental tension between words and images. Beauty plays no role in her art, showing us that her fabulous technical prowess is something that is primarily at the service of ideas.
Schutz is not on social media, nor does she find her heroes in Google's ever-expanding sources. She finds them primarily in her countless elective relationships with the masters of history, ranging from the Middle Ages to the big guns of modernism. The American/Canadian artist, Philip Guston, not least. They are with her when she puts her thoughts on the canvases, on the paper of the charcoal drawings and in recent years, when she builds the scenery into sculptures.
Dimensions: W: 100 x H: 84.1 cm
Note: The poster is sold without a frame.