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27 Jul 2017

Dana Schutz

Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston

Reviewed by Franklin Einspruch

Dana Schutz has not yet painted a canvas that didn't make me wish that I was looking at a Judith Linhares instead. That said, I'm glad I could see any Schutzes at the ICA, which wouldn't have happened if it were up to some local busybodies bent on punishing her for her abortive Emmett Till painting (which is not on display) until the end of time.

These are genuinely ambitious attempts to create big historical dramas two centuries after The Raft of the Medusa, through surrealist allegory. Almost every picture has at least one passage of real flair: the crimson and viridian flesh tones in Big Wave, the oddly Hittite look of the figures in Car Pool (2016).

But taken as a whole they are cacophonies. Not even Picasso could pull off multi-figure, life-size, high-chroma Cubist paintings and Schutz can't do it either. The ensuing freakishness looks affected and her ventures into Vorticism, such as Shaking Out The Bed (2015), are a mess. Call it, if you will, a Schutzshow.

Exhibition Dana Schutz link
Start date 26 Jul 2017 (21 days ago)
End date 26 Nov 2017
Presenter Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston link
Venue 25 Harbor Shore Drive, Boston, MA, USA map
Image Dana Schutz, Carpool, 2016, oil on canvas, 66 x 108 inches, collection of Carole Server and Oliver Frankel, courtesy of the artist and Petzel, New York, © Dana Schutz
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