Dana Schutz

Fight in an Elevator

September 10 - October 24, 2015

Opening Reception: Thursday, September 10th, 6-8pm

456 W 18th Street

Petzel Gallery is pleased to announce Fight in an Elevator—a solo exhibition of new paintings and works on paper by Dana Schutz. The show will be on view from September 10 – October 24 with an opening reception on Thursday, September 10th, from 6-8pm.

As Fight in an Elevator, the title of Dana Schutz’s second exhibition at Petzel Gallery suggests, Schutz’s figures are placed within compressed interiors where they are forced to struggle against the boundaries of their painted environments and up onto the physical edge of the canvas. Her characters find themselves helpless in the mouth of a lion, exchanging blows in a mirrored elevator, or somnambulating down a narrow staircase. These highly structured spaces, which are both intensely public and utterly private, point to how Schutz tackles the subject of interiority—rather than offering a voyeuristic view, her frontal facing subjects stare directly back at the viewer, seemingly with the desire to extend outside of themselves.

Schutz’s new works act as permeable containers with subjects often framed within a specific duration. Each composition extends and suspends time: elevator doors slide open just long enough to catch a grisly six-person fight, and elsewhere, body parts seem to melt then reconfigure in slow-motion. The gestures too bend time, informed by the momentum and weight of what they depict. Many figures, while engaged in myriad activities from breastfeeding to fist-fighting, seem to do so in service to the painting itself: one woman, ostensibly practicing S&M, bends backwards to nudge the edges of the canvas with her hand and foot. Schutz’s characters work a double agenda: while embroiled in their own semi-private interiors, they simultaneously participate in the making of the painting.

Dana Schutz was born in 1976 in Livonia, Michigan. She has been the subject of museum exhibitions both nationally and internationally. A survey exhibition of her work will open at the Musée d’art contemporain de Montreal on October 17, 2015. Her solo museum shows include, The Hepworth Wakefield, Yorkshire; kestnergesellschaft, Hannover; The Neuberger Museum, Purchase; Miami Art Museum, Miami; the Denver Art Museum and the Denver Museum of Contemporary Art, Denver; Douglas Hyde Gallery, Dublin, the Museo d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea di Trento e Rovereto, Italy, The Rose Museum, Massachusetts, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Cleveland and the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas. Dana Schutz lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.

Petzel Gallery is located at 456 West 18th Street New York, NY 10011. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM.

For press inquiries, please contact Andrew Black at andrew@petzel.com, or call (212) 680-9467.


Download Press Release (PDF 92 K)


  • 1 / 34
    Sleepwalker
    2015
    Oil on canvas
    66 x 47.25 inches
  • Dana Schutz Lion Eatings Its Tamer 2015
    2 / 34
    Lion Eating Its Tamer
    2015
    Oil on canvas
    83.5 x 89 inches
  • 3 / 34
    Fight in an Elevator 2
    2015
    Oil on canvas
    96 x 90 inches
  • 4 / 34
    Swiss Family Traveling
    2015
    Oil on canvas
    84 x 88 inches
  • 5 / 34
    Glider
    2015
    Oil on canvas
    84 x 62 inches
  • 6 / 34
    Big Parts Small Parts
    2015
    Oil on canvas
    73.5 x 56.25 inches
  • 7 / 34
    Shaking Out the Bed
    2015
    Oil on canvas
    114 x 213.75 inches
  • 8 / 34
    Fight in an Elevator
    2015
    oil on canvas
    96 x 90 inches
  • 9 / 34
    As Normal as Possible
    2015
    Oil on canvas
    40 x 36 inches
  • 10 / 34
    Slow Motion Shower
    2015
    Oil on canvas
    78 x 72 inches
  • 11 / 34
    Horsey Situation
    2015
    Oil on canvas
    66 x 47.25 inches
  • 12 / 34
    Assembling an Octopus
    2013
    Oil on canvas
    120 x 156 inches
  • 13 / 34
    Bowler
    2015
    Charcoal on paper
    44 x 30 inches
  • 14 / 34
    Spit
    2015
    Charcoal on paper
    44 x 30 inches
  • 15 / 34
    Lion and Tamer
    2015
    Charcoal on paper
    44 x 30 inches
  • 16 / 34
    The Philosopher
    2015
    Charcoal on paper
    44 x 30 inches
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    Dana Schutz
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    2015
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    Dana Schutz
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    Installation view 17
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    Dana Schutz
    Fight in an Elevator
    Installation view 18
    2015
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If It Appears In The Desert

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This catalogue was published on the occasion of the exhibition If It Appears In The Desert, at Contemporary Fine Arts Berlin, 2008

Interview with Dana Schutz by Jörg Heiser

Published by Walther Konig; Pap/Cdr Bl edition

© 2009 Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther König, Köln

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This catalogue was published on the occasion of the exhibition Tourette's Paintings, at the Douglas Hyde Gallery, Dublin, July 16 - September 15, 2010.

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This catalogue was published on the occasion of the exhibition Dana Schutz, at the Johnson County Community College, Gallery of Art, Overland, 2004

Published by Johnson County Community College

© 2004 Johnson County Community College I Gallery of Art, Dana Schutz

ISBN: 0-9712985-1-3

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© 2011 Dana Schutz, Tom McGrath, Contemporary Fine Arts Galerie Berlin

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This catalogue was published on the occasion of the exhibition Dana Schutz, at the MartRovereto, Rovereto, Italy
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The publication contains the essay "Devouring, Spitting, Inventing" by Alessandro Rabottini

Edited and curated by Gabriella Belli

Published by Silvana Editorale Spa, Milano

© 2011 Mart - Museo di Arte Moderna e Contemporanea di Trento e Rovereto

ISBN: 978-8836618712

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Teeth Dreams And Other Supposed Truths

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This catalogue was published on the occasion of the exhibition Teeth Dreams and Other Supposed Truths, at Contemporary Fine Arts, Berlin, Germany, 2005

Interview with Dana Schutz by Nicole Hackert

Published by Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther König, Köln

© Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther König, Köln

ISBN: 978-3931355289

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The publication contains the following essays:
"Anonymous Genius" by Jonathan Safran Foer
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Published by Rizzoli International Publications, Inc.

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ISBN: 978-0-8478-3329-0

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Paintings 2002-2005

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This catalogue was published on the occasion of the exhibition Dana Schutz - Paintings 2002-2005, at The Rose Art Museum of Brandeis University, 2006

This publication features texts by Jorg Heiser, Katy Siegel and Raphaela Platow

Published by The Rose Art Museum

© 2006 The Rose Art Museum, Dana Schutz

ISBN: 978-0976159339

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If the Face Had Wheels

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This catalogue was published on the occasion of the exhibition
Dana Schutz: if the Face Had Wheels, curated by Helaine Posner and organized by The Neuberger Museum of Art, Purchase College, State University of New York, September 25 - December 18, 2011

The catalogue contains the following essays:
"Dana Schutz: It's the End of the World as We Know it (And I Feel Fine)" by Cary Levine
"If the Face Had Wheels: An Interview with Dana Schutz" by Helaine Posner

Published by the Neuberger Museum of Art and Prestel

© 2011 Neuberger Museum of Art, Prestel Verlag, Munich, London, New York

ISBN: 978-3-7913-4637-3