"If the Face Had Wheels," a retrospective of the last ten years of artist Dana Schutz, opens at the Miami Art Museum this Saturday. Such a survey may seem premature for an artist who's only 35 years old, but Schutz is prolific and provocative enough to warrant a review.
After graduating from Columbia University, Schutz first made an impact on the art world with a portrait series about Frank, a long-haired hippie presented as the last man on earth. In her series, Frank from Observation, Schutz used raw brush strokes to present this wanderer with wit and disgust.
In recordings released by Miami Art Museum, Schutz says, "I'm never interested in the painting being a mirror to culture. I think that's really boring. What I'm interested in is painting as an affective space. The place where the hierarchies of the world can be rearranged within the space of a painting. And they can be articulated in different ways. "
In another series The Self-Eaters, Schutz presents females engaged in their own private cannibalism. In Verbs, the young painter targeted paradox with a series that showed incongruent activities as in her Swimming, Smoking, and Crying painting.
"I often use hypothetical situations to generate information and imagery for paintings and to create a fictional space where a subject can be put into play, "Schutz says. "I'm mostly drawn to narratives that are difficult for me to visualize."
Schutz also takes aim at musicians, painting her own disfigured portraits of Kim and Kelly Deal of The Breeders, Kim Gordon of Sonic Youth, and an arresting painting of the autopsy of Michael Jackson.
When she was painting the gruesome autopsy scene, Schutz notes "how strangely intimate it felt. I was less into this idea of it being a voyeuristic scene of a celebrity but more of a space where maybe one person can witness it."
Playing with the artist's music interest, Esther Park is hosting a Playlist Party with Schutz at the Standard on Sunday at 8 p.m.
Schutz will also give an artist talk on Saturday when the exhibit opens at 6 p.m. RSVP required. Contact RSVP@miamiartmuseum.org or 305.375.1704.
Click on the below slideshow for highlights from Dana Schutz: If the Face Had Wheels.