Dana Schutz - Contemporary Art Day Sale New York Friday, May 16, 2014 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Zach Feuer Gallery, New York
    Acquired from the above by the present owner, 2004

  • Exhibited

    New York, Zach Feuer Gallery, Dana Schutz: Panic, November 8 - December 11, 2004
    Waltham, Rose Art Museum, Brandeis University, Dana Schutz: Paintings 2002-2005, January 19 - April 9, 2006
    London, Royal Academy of Arts, USA Today: New American Art, October 6 - November 4, 2006
    Saint Petersburg, The State Hermitage Museum, USA Today: New American Art, October 24, 2007 - January 13, 2008
    Stockholm, Moderna Museet, Eclipse: Art in a Dark Age, May 31 - August 24, 2008
    Purchase, Neuberger Museum of Art, Purchase College, State University of New York, Dana Schutz: If the Face Had Wheels, September 25 - December 18, 2011, then traveled to Miami, Miami Art Museum (January 15 - March 4, 2012), Denver, Denver Art Museum (November 10, 2012 - January 13, 2013)
    London, Saatchi Gallery, Body Language, November 20 - March 23, 2014

  • Literature

    J. Cape, The Triumph of Painting, Saatchi Gallery, London, 2005, pp. 196-197 (illustrated)
    Dana Schutz: Paintings 2002-2005, exh. cat., Rose Art Museum, Brandeis University, Waltham, 2006, p. 49 (illustrated)
    USA Today: New American Art from The Saatchi Gallery, exh. cat., Royal Academy of Arts, London, 2006, p. 337 (illustrated)
    USA Today: New American Art from The Saatchi Gallery, exh. cat., The State Hermitage Museum, Saint Petersburg, 2007, p. 165 (illustrated)
    Eclipse: Art in a Dark Age, exh. cat., Moderna Museet, Stockholm, 2008, n.p. (illustrated)
    J. Foer, B. Schwabsky, Dana Schutz, New York: Rizzoli, 2010, p. 65 (illustrated)
    Dana Schutz: If the Face Had Wheels, exh. cat., Neuberger Museum of Art, Purchase, Munich: Prestel Verlag, 2011, p. 36 (illustrated)
    E. Booth-Clibborn, The History of the Saatchi Gallery, London: E. Booth-Clibborn Editions, 2011, p. 699 (illustrated)
    Body Language, exh. cat., Saatchi Gallery, London, 2013, p. 73 (illustrated)

  • Catalogue Essay

    Dana Schutz’s Face Eater is a painting of contrasts: boldly executed in Schutz’s unmistakable trademark style, it provokes both revulsion and intrigue. The young human, gender being rather difficult to tell given the drastic perversion of the facial features, is roughly figured in broad, expressive brushstrokes and a subtly muted palette. The face, if it can reasonably be described as such, is all chin with only a gaping mouth full of equine size teeth, two eyeballs hovering in their “normal” location, and an incredibly suggestive phallic tongue. On the one hand, Schutz has painted a self-destructive, a potentially psychopathic individual hell-bent on devouring its own face. On the other, one could understand this individual to be nourishing itself, as any one must, and doing so in the most quintessentially American fashion possible – self-made and self-nourished.

    This process of creative destruction, both breaking down and then (re)building back up, is frequently addressed in Schutz’s oeuvre. Indeed, the very process of artistic creativity can, and often will, follow such a trajectory. Each of her characters, over whom she exercises omniscience and omnipotence dictating their every move, exists within their own world bordered by the frame. Schutz has imbued them with a seeming sense of self-awareness and self-sufficiency. The Face Eater itself looks beyond the confines of its frame, maybe considering making some move, some advancement; however, it is only its creator, the artist, who can ever enact any change. Schutz, playing by her own rules, blurs the reality where life and art converge through her portal-like canvases. At once real and imagined, the mutated figure consolidates figuration and abstraction, as if the result of a monstrous experiment. The effect of this visual and kinetic collision is of a vision abandoned, unbounded, and limitless.


Face Eater

oil on canvas
23 1/16 x 18 1/16 in. (58.6 x 45.9 cm)
Signed and dated "Dana Schutz 2004" on the reverse.

$60,000 - 80,000 

Sold for $509,000

Contact Specialist
Amanda Stoffel
Head of Day Sale
+1 212 940 1261

Contemporary Art Day Sale

New York 16 May 2014 11am