Dana Schutz - Contemporary Art Evening Sale New York Wednesday, May 15, 2013 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    LFL Gallery, New York

  • Exhibited

    Prague, Prague Biennale, Lazarus Effect, June 26 - August 24, 2003
    Portland, Portland Institute for Contemporary Art, Unforeseen: Four Painted Predictions, December 8, 2003 January 24, 2004

  • Literature

    J. Safran Foer and B. Schwabsky, Dana Schutz, New York: Rizzoli, 2004, pp. 36-38 (illustrated)
    C. Levine and H. Posner, Dana Schutz: If the Face Had Wheels, Neurerger Museum of Art, Munich: Prestel, 2011, p. 31 (illustrated)

  • Catalogue Essay

    In the world of Dana Schutz, one rendered in an electrifying palette and vigorous brushstrokes, an odyssey of unimaginable fate unfolds. Through her sophisticated
    handling of paints, Schutz narrates epic tales, both comic and absurd. The fragmented scenes, executed in fauvist colors, construct impossible spaces as settings in which
    boundaries are unknown, restrictions nonexistent, and dreams, both pleasant and disturbing, are fulfilled. The hypothetical scenarios, while informed by some kind of
    reality, extend into the imaginary, never to return again. Dead Zebra, 2003, is both tender and unnerving. It captures the viewer’s attention with unrivaled intensity, in which the beginning and end of the story are impossible to distinguish. In Dead Zebra, 2003, viewers become suspicious of the past and the present, the primitive and the
    civilized, the raw and the cooked.

    The usual black and white stripes of the zebra are replaced here with pale purples and deep maroons, with the hooves rendered in a brilliant violet. The mythical creature is surrounded by an electric jungle of viscous brushstrokes and pools of kaleidoscopic colors which swirl and collide across the surface; the thick branches above the zebra create a shield of vivid pigments, a coppice of chromatic wonder. The striped creature is wrapped around itself in both a tender and wearisome way, no clues indicate if it is asleep or wounded. The Zebra’s limbs are impossibly folded, extending from unknown joints of the figure’s form. The contrast of the paralyzed creature surrounded by the buoyant and colors infuses the primal nature of the scene with fantastic effects. The interplay between the illusion of the image and the reality of the thickly applied material blasts the painting with three-dimensional presence. The fields of colors and shapes contradict the fatness of the picture plane, creating a space that doesn’t actually exist; the imaginary becomes real. Seemingly removed from our time and space, the broken body and brilliant landscape before us transcend our every notion of possibility in its cheeriness and frailty, innocence and cynicism.


Dead Zebra

oil on canvas
60 x 66 in. (152.4 x 167.6 cm.)
Signed, titled and dated "Dana Schutz, Spring 2003, 'Dead Zebra'" on the reverse.

$200,000 - 300,000 

Sold for $365,000

Contact Specialist
Zach Miner
Head of Sale
[email protected]
+1 212 940 1256

Contemporary Art Evening Sale

New York 16 May 2013 7pm