Dana Schutz

Fight in an Elevator

456 W 18th Street

September 10 – October 24, 2015

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 Janine Latham at janine@petzel.com, or call (212) 680-9467.

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