“Although the paintings themselves are not specifically narrative,” American artist Dana Schutz explains, “I often invent imaginative systems and situations to generate information.” This painting depicts just such a contrived situation, in which a mutilated and partially dismembered figure lies on a board suspended above an opening in the ground. Whether the figure is about to be lowered into this grave or has been recently exhumed, we do not know. Solemn onlookers in a seemingly endless procession gather and file past. Boldly executed in high-keyed colors, the composition is evocative of art-historical precedents yet evades any specific narrative or interpretation.
Gallery label from 2006.