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  • Provenance

    Roberts & Tilton, Los Angeles

  • Catalogue Essay

    Working within strict self-imposed codes of representation, Dana Schutz’s practice is born of a highly complex notion of the artist as author, inventor, magician, scientist, and even divine power.Through painting Schutz creates and rules over a fantasy world of obscure invention and functionless objects, such elaborate scenes are explorations into a world where art and life coexist.The present lot, Sword Rack, is both seductive and repulsive. Schutz’s soft tones and sweeping brushstrokes endow the potential grief of the image with human sensitivity. A bizarre still life, mystery, and implied narrative construct a scene of unnatural elements whose horror is also uncomfortably homey.

  • Artist Biography

    Dana Schutz

    American • 1976

    Michigan-born artist Dana Schutz is known for presenting chaotic, colorful scenes that often inject humor into awkward or painful situations. Though primarily a painter, her practice expanded into sculpture in 2019—a natural transition for her dynamic style. Schutz first shot to prominence soon after receiving her MFA from Columbia University with her Self-Eaters series. 

    Schutz is one of just a handful of living female artists whose work can fetch over $1 million at auction. The Brooklyn-based artist has shown her work in museums in both North America and Europe, and her work has been collected by such institutions as MoMA, the Guggenheim and LACMA. She is married to fellow artist Ryan Johnson, who she met during her time at Columbia.

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Sword Rack


Oil on canvas.

83 x 71 5/8 in. (211 x 182 cm).
Signed and dated "Dana Schutz 2002" on the reverse.

$100,000 - 150,000 

Sold for $133,000

Contemporary Art Part I

15 May 2008, 7pm
New York