Studio Sunday: Dana Schutz

A photo of painter Dana Schutz working in her studio


Dana Schutz is a painter who currently works out of a large, private studio in Brooklyn, New York. The painter is known for intensely bright, almost gaudy images that are strongly figural despite loose and surreal formal aspects. Schutz’ studio is an expansive space where the artist works on multiple paintings at once.


In the above photo, the floor of Schutz’s studio is littered with sheets of vellum or plastic wrap, each covered in a number of daubs of similarly-coloured paint. According to interviews, the artist tends to come into her studio and mix paint first thing, so that she is equipped with all the colours she needs, and doesn’t need to take breaks to mix individual hues. The artist puts the unfinished paints in the studio fridge to keep overnight, in the event that she doesn’t use all of a colour. The sheer number of these “palettes” that is visible in the photo makes this paint mixing process seem monumental. Schutz must work quickly and on many paintings at once.


Paintings, propped up against the wall and on overturned paint buckets to keep them off the floor, line three sides of the studio. It seems almost like Schutz keeps her paintings ordered from newest to closest to completion. The left-hand side of the studio has a canvas with some line-art as well as what appear to be conté or charcoal sketches pinned to the wall. The studio is also well-equipped with storage space for paints – three tables with shelves underneath are covered in small jars of paint, ready for mixing or application. With the sheer amount of paint in this studio, I wonder if Schutz has an organizational system for keeping track of it all. 

[image source]

Written by: Dallas Jeffs
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