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Press Release

Friedrich Petzel Gallery is pleased to announce Piano in the Rain a solo exhibition by Dana Schutz. The show will be on view from May 2 – June 16, 2012 with an opening reception on May 2, from 6 – 8pm.

In her first exhibition at Friedrich Petzel Gallery, Dana Schutz’ characters overcome what would be impossible and often dysfunctional situations. As suggested by the title, “Piano in the Rain” these situations are impeded by the romantic tenor they resonate. Schutz uses these unstable narrative dilemmas as a springboard to paint and employs various characters to demonstrate them.

Schutz’ characters take on the role of producers and performers. They manifest as public personas, performance artists, private exhibitionists, and unconscious actors. Whether it is through a large-scale production or a solely intimate moment, in each painting the performer confronts the viewer. Schutz’ painted characters build a boat while sailing it, ignite themselves, pass on a contagious yawn, flash the audience with various craft-making tools and play a concerto in the rain.

The characters’ actions dictate the way they are painted. Each fictional scenario approximates the painterly act through diagrammatic gesture, palette, and construction. This approach leads Schutz into an abstract lexicon that transforms the painting through the way the paint is physically applied beyond the brush: with scrapers, squeegees, and oil crayons. The method of application adds another layer in the perception of the painting, stressing a simultaneity of both subject matter and how the painting functions.

Dana Schutz was born in 1976 in Livonia, Michigan. She has been the subject of museum exhibitions both nationally and internationally. Her traveling survey exhibition If the Face had Wheels opened at the Neuberger Museum, Purchase, New York in September 2011 and traveled to the Miami Art Museum in January 2012. It will open at the Denver Art Museum in November 2012 in conjunction with a works on paper exhibition at the Denver Museum of Contemporary Art. Her solo museum shows have included Douglas Hyde Gallery, Dublin, the Museo d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea di Trento e Rovereto, Italy, The Rose Museum, Massachusetts, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Cleveland and the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas. Her work can also be currently seen at the Metropolitan Opera, New York. Dana Schutz lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. For press inquiries, please contact Janine Latham at, or call (212) 680-9467.