103
103
Dana Schutz
OCULAR
Estimate
120,000180,000
LOT SOLD. 250,000 GBP
JUMP TO LOT
103
Dana Schutz
OCULAR
Estimate
120,000180,000
LOT SOLD. 250,000 GBP
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Contemporary Art Day Auction

|
London

Dana Schutz
B. 1976
OCULAR
signed and dated 2010 on the reverse
oil on canvas
118 by 102 cm. 46 1/2 by 40 1/8 in.
Read Condition Report Read Condition Report

Provenance

Contemporary Fine Arts, Berlin
Acquired from the above by the present owner

Exhibited

Berlin, Contemporary Fine Arts, Dana Schutz: The Last Thing You See, November - December 2010, n.p., no. 6, illustrated in colour
Berlin, kestnergesellschaft, Dana Schutz, July - October 2014

Catalogue Note

At once grotesque and serene, the unsettling composition of Dana Schutz’s Ocular places a woman tearing out her eyes among a tranquil forest of trees. A pastel-coloured spotlight drowns the central figure in pinkish light and highlights the brilliant flakes of snow cascading around her. The warm yellows of the surrounding landscape are echoed in the figure’s face; a delicate swirl of flesh tones achieved using Schutz’s preferred method of wet-on-wet oil painting. The resulting thick impasto surface of the canvas adds to the materiality of feeling captured in Schutz’s work. Combined with her expert handling of paint and gift for seamlessly blending tone and hue to achieve unparalleled chromatic unity, Schutz creates compositions that the viewer feels as much as they see.

Just after completing her Masters of Fine Art at Columbia University in 2002, Schutz burst on to the New York Art scene with her first solo exhibition at Zach Feuer Gallery, Frank from Observation. The show was based on the conceit of Schutz as the last painter on earth and the imagined ‘Frank’ as the last man on earth. The metanarratives around which Schutz structures her works are what continually capture our imaginations. What happened to this woman in Ocular to make her claw at her eyes? Schutz responds, “although the paintings themselves are not specifically narrative, I often invent imaginative systems and situations to generate information. These situations usually delineate a site where making is a necessity, audiences potentially don’t exist, objects transcend their function and reality is malleable” (Dana Schutz cited in: Anon., Press Release, London, Victoria Miro, ‘Painting 2004: Group Exhibition’, 2004, online).

In Schutz’s genre-bending paintings, where still lives are personified and portraits become a chronicle of events, anything is possible. Before painting, the artist makes a list of ideas ranging from stuffed-animal fights to time machines before ever putting brush to canvas. The spontaneity of her creative process, so clearly exhibited in the loose handling of paint in Ocular, contributes to her work’s relativity to the moment of creation making them a true product of the time in which they were made. In illustrating these impossible situations often concerned with themes of construction, deconstruction, and merging the imagined with the real, Schutz combines her active imagination, her observations of daily life and the history of art to create a modern-day mosaic that rearranges the hierarchies of the world.

Contemporary Art Day Auction

|
London