Art Market

Dana Schutz has joined David Zwirner’s artist roster.

Justin Kamp
Oct 6, 2020 7:04PM, via ARTnews

Dana Schutz in 2019 at the New York Academy Of Art Gala at Sotheby's. Photo by Mark Sagliocco via Getty Images.

The painter Dana Schutz has signed to David Zwirner’s artist roster, leaving behind her previous New York gallery, Petzel, which had represented her since 2011. She will continue to be represented by London gallery Thomas Dane. The artist is best known for her intense figurative portraiture, which combines traces of Cubist abstraction with bold color palettes.

The artist’s vivid paintings have been both lauded and the subject of intense controversy—in 2017, her painting of Emmett Till’s funeral, Open Casket (2016), received backlash when it was included in that year’s Whitney Biennial, with critics accusing Schutz of profiting off Black pain and spectacle. That same year, Schutz had a solo exhibition at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston; she has also shown at the Denver Art Museum and the Miami Art Museum, and the Cleveland Institute of Art, among others. Her work has entered the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, the Guggenheim, and the Whitney. A 2019 solo exhibition at Petzel was widely regarded as a successful bounce-back from the Whitney Biennial controversy.

A representative for Petzel gallery told ARTnews:

Petzel Gallery feels very fortunate to have worked with Dana Schutz for the past 10 years. During that time, we mounted three incredible solo exhibitions of her work, placing paintings in major museum collections and helping her attain worldwide status as one of the most recognized painters of her generation. Over the last decade, we worked together on nine survey museum exhibitions and collaborated on two catalogs and had a major career-spanning monograph in the works. Together we weathered the storm from the [2017] Whitney Biennial, which was a teachable moment that transformed the gallery.

According to Artsy data, while demand for Schutz’s work increased at the start of the 2017 Whitney Biennial, inquiries dropped significantly as the controversy took hold. Her 2019 comeback show at Petzel, however, drove a second spike in the three months following the exhibition.

Further Reading: Unpacking the Firestorm around the Whitney Biennial’s “Black Death Spectacle”

Further Reading: Dana Schutz Stages Bold Return to Form after Whitney Biennial Controversy

Justin Kamp
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Jenna Gribbon, Luncheon on the grass, a recurring dream, 2020. Jenna Gribbon, April studio, parting glance, 2021. Jenna Gribbon, Silver Tongue, 2019