Jarrett Earnest interviews painter Dana Schutz about her work on the occasion of the exhibition Dana Schutz: Piano in the Rain at Friedrich Petzel Gallery, New York, on view through June 16, 2012.
Schutz comments: "This idea that narrative is 'bad' might be a leftover from Modernism; a notion that narrative is 'kitschy,' too illustrative, or literary, but people might also not want to deal with other people's 'stuff.' Colors and flat planes, no matter how subjective they are, are perhaps easier to take than, say, a painting of someone's mom. However, I think a sense of place, character, and event can happen simultaneously with the kind of singular, big-impact read of an abstract painting. Alex Katz's paintings do this perfectly. To make a painting with people and things is not just 'subjective whatever-ness.' It's who we are and where we come from and can parallel the world, not just in a fictional or allegorical way, but also structurally. And paintings and images can feel so real! They can act as agents in the world."