Bizarre Art: Dana Schutz: If the Face Had Wheels

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Fueled by her imagination, Dana Schutz creates art that is beyond the border of uncomfortable and even absurd. Her bold and colorful brushstrokes take us places that most imaginations don’t explore. Her show, Dana Schutz: If The Face Had Wheels, opens tomorrow (11/11) at the Denver Art Museum. The show explores ten years of art Schutz first created in her mind.  ”This is even beyond a scope of abstract art. Dana creates her art based on imagination alone,” says curator Gwen Chantzi.

Catch Carri with Dana Schutz at "Dana Schutz: If the Face Had Wheels" preview

Catch Carri with Dana Schutz at “Dana Schutz: If the Face Had Wheels” preview

Expect her art to make you feel uneasy. When I came face to face with the Self Eaters series I shied away. But I toughened up and allowed myself to think along the same lines of Schutz. She often explores what she refers to as “what ifs.” In the case, she thought about people having the ability to digest themselves and then produce parts to reconstruct themselves. Bizarre? Absolutely. She enters territory many artists don’t explore. “She is open to the outlandish and unthinkable. That’s part of the magic,” says Chantzi. “This is one of the most fun shows I have hung. You have sights lines and surprises.”

Schutz's distinctive visual style is characterized by vibrant color and raw and tactile brushwork.

Schutz’s distinctive visual style is characterized by vibrant color and raw and tactile brushwork.

Schutz admits her paintings are outrageous and even odd but hopes they are equally witty and humorous. “You have to let yourself go places you normally wouldn’t allow yourself to go,” says Schutz. When she is thinking of what to paint, Schutz often uses words as a springboard. In her verb series, Schutz places words together like Swimming Smoking Breathing. “I like putting things together that you wouldn’t think go together.”

This first 10-year survey features 31 paintings and 9 drawings created since 2001

This first 10-year survey features 31 paintings and 9 drawings created since 2001

Schutz’s paintings are absolutely bizarre, but she isn’t afraid to break boundaries and norms to make herself stand out as an innovative artist. “There’s a certain braveness about what she does,” says Chantzi. “Dana has an incredible, free, unbridled imagination,”

Schutz’s subjects spring from an absurdist sensibility as she invents imaginary stories or hypothetical situations

Schutz’s subjects spring from an absurdist sensibility as she invents imaginary stories or hypothetical situations

Dana Schutz: If the Face Had Wheels will be on view through January 13, 2013.

Denver Art Museum
100 W 14th Ave Parkway
Denver, CO 80204
(720) 865-5000

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